Gas connectors and the offshore reserves in the spotlight
- Written by Lavinia Iancu
The fifth reunion of the Task Force for implementing the Joint Declaration for Strategic Partnership in the 21st century between USA and Romania took place on the 26th of September in Washington. The Partnership that started on July 11th 1997 represents an essential landmark for our country in terms of foreign policy and it is as well an efficient tool in supporting domestic efforts in reforming politics, economy, military and administration.
The annual dialogue has hit the nail on the head in 2016. The US support Romania’s initiative of funding a multinational force in the Black Sea region, with the parties collaborating on intensifying military presence in the area. According to official documents, the two governments have also agreed on strengthening strategic communication efforts, fighting terrorism and cooperation in the field of cyber security.
The talking points were on major fields: energy, economy, military and politics, education and research. A joint statement was issued following this meeting, a statement that underlined the real development perspectives.
The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement that advocates that the US and Romania have highlighted the importance of continued efforts of promoting democracy, the rule of law and a sound governing body in order to preserve an open and sustainable society. Romania’s resilience and commitment in defending these values and furthering fields like law enforcement, responsible governing and anti-corruption are powerful examples. Cooperation will continue in order to promote joint development and technical support programs for Moldova, The West Balcans and other areas.
The US and Romania seem to share a common vision in what pertains to the regional energy market, both parties upholding values like transparency, predictability, integration, diversification and competitiveness. These are part of the process of elaborating the energy strategy in Romania, at least at a declarative level. The document also states that the goal is to prioritize the exchange of knowledge in what pertains to policy making and research expertise. The focus is on realizing the gas connectors between Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria and between Romania and Moldova as well as accelerating the development of Black Sea offshore reserves. What is of utmost importance right now in Romania is realizing a stable and transparent tax regime to enable long-term investments in the upstream sector as well as developing sustainable energy programs in order to fight climate change and encourage investments in advanced energy technology sectors.
We have to once again underline the fact that a sound and predictable political, economic, legal and regulatory environment are crucial for investors and for the success of these activities. The government is the one that has to make a move right now. In the meantime we have wasted another year. Let’s hope it is the last.