Yesterday President Basescu presented the priorities of Romania's foreign affairs policy in front of the ambassadors accredited to Bucharest. There was nothing or almost nothing new in the President's speech. The main ideas are unchanged: the integration in the European Union, the energy resources, the Black Sea, Romanians worldwide and Romania as active NATO member. Insistence on these issues looks like a question as subtle and firm as a written note: "Can the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hear it too?"
Many of the objectives listed above seem to find an obstacle in the European Union rather than help. Here is a first example: the Moldovan Republic. Basescu announced yesterday that, as far as the EU enlargement was concerned, Romania was pleading for the "open door policy" and it would continue to support the idea that the Moldovan Republic's European prospects should be the same as the ones of the Western Balkan states. But a note, rather blurred, stealthily slipped under Romania's door to the EU. It goes as follows: "Dear Traian, the Moldovan Republic's European prospects will get to be considered after Croatia, Serbia, Albania and Macedonia, by 2020, at the same time with Turkey - if you have the occasion to take this up?"
There is another thing the President said that is related to this. He mentioned the main priority for 2007 to consist in the making of Romania's profile as a responsible and efficient member of the European Union, fully connected to the great issues under EU debate. A second note has shown up almost at once, about as pale as the first one and, seemingly, about as mild or coy. Here it is: "Dear Traian, the newcomers in the EU, which are facing major political trouble, risk losing their participation in the EU decision making processes, as already seen in the case of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic - if you have the occasion to take this up?"
Regardless of their discretion, in the messages coming from Brussels there prevails a crucial issue: is Romania able to behave like a player inside the European Union or will it prefer a part obedient to the community norms? In other words: will Romania be able to impose its desires on the EU? At first sight, President Basescu's statements are in utter contradiction with the rumor in Brussels or at least with the contents of notes reaching Bucharest. We can take this as a revival of the Constantinople myth, with the coachman putting the black veil on the ruler's shoulders shyly and delicately, with no beheading, in keeping with the latest EU norms. Although there will never be any overt talk on such a thing, the Union can theoretically give a hard time to a country such as Romania.
As for the remainder of foreign affairs projects, they haven't actually changed in the last two years. Romanians living abroad are still disappointed. But in the meantime they have become the subjects of the Romanian foreign minister, who collects projects from them, but provides no funds. Romanian soldiers are still in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Black Sea is still divided to Turkey and Russia. It is just that the EU trembled a little when the pipe to Belorussia got stuck. And one more thing: there have come up more and more post-accession strategies, which gives Romania the privilege to get a various and comic profile in Brussels. Romania will finally manage to define the country brand under a slogan such as "the always funny Romania!"