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ForMin Manescu: Romania can become largest gas producer in Europe, which gives it security, independence

Ramona Mănescu

Romania can become the largest gas producer in the European Union, which gives it security and independence, but also positions it as an important negotiation partner at European and global level, the Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister, Ramona Manescu, said on Wednesday, at the third edition of the Aspen Energy Summit 2019.

"Romania can become the largest gas producer in the EU, as Eurostat says. This situation not only provides us with security and independence, but positions us as a very important negotiation partner at European and global level. Strengthening the transatlantic relationship can make a net contribution to Romania's and the EU's energy security. As regards the bilateral relationship with the US, the strategic partnership is an essential pillar of our foreign and security policy. The energy component of our strategic partnership must certainly be deepened and here there is a beneficial effect not only for Romania's energy security but for that of the entire region - I am thinking of Moldova here. I appreciate the support of the USA especially for the Three Seas Initiative. This also brings an implicit support for achieving some ambitious goals and the possibility of investments in the region,'' said Ramona Manescu.

Among the topics on the summit agenda were the new role of energy in the national and European economy, projects and regulations for an integrated energy system in the digital age, the continuation of the development of Romania's profile as an important actor on the European and global stage - common objective for the public sphere, business and non-governmental /academic leaders in our country etc.

In her speech, the Foreign Affairs Minister pointed out that energy, the main theme of the event, is a topic that has received increasing attention in Romania, and this concern is extremely useful.

"We are, like many other countries, in the process of building a coherent response to the challenges that the energy field offers us every day. Energy consumption continues to grow, while the pressure to reduce the carbon footprint is increasingly stronger in all states. At the same time, the new energy resources and increasing their share require the adaptation and modernization of the storage systems, the transport and distribution systems. We are directly interested in an open dialogue with all relevant actors in this field. For Romania, the most burning issue is what is happening between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. In this conflict, gas is one of the targets, but also the instrument through which there is intervention. (...) The lack of predictability, the history of arbitrary interruptions and the behavior of Gazprom have had negative and positive effects. I say this because that was the reason why in 2014 the European Union elaborated the strategy for energy security,'' she said.

In his turn, Prahova County Council President Bogdan Toader stressed the importance of energy security and spoke about the need to find efficient development solutions and viable economic opportunities. At the same time, he pointed out that the event is a useful platform for interaction, as it brings together actors from different fields - from business people, academia, NGOs and government level.

"Aspen Energy Summit addresses strategic issues in energy, economics, geopolitics and sustainable development. We all observe that today, energy security in a complex area like Romania and sustainable development represent challenges that must be managed both locally and centrally, only through an integrated vision of all those involved. (...) Because everything is in a permanent change, I hope to find together, within this forum, efficient solutions for development and viable economic opportunities. It is important to focus on the implementation of modern technologies, based on renewable energy sources, both at the municipal and county level, to reduce pollution, to solve the problem of waste, to combat the effects of climate change and to efficient energy consumption (lower costs). The financing of renewable energy projects can also be done by accessing structural funds and cooperation programs. Improving the investment climate in the energy sector must be a constant priority for all decision-makers, because, as we can see, energy is an essential component of development, which plays an important role in both the national and global economies", he said.

A theme debated at the Aspen Energy Summit 2019 also focused on Romania's energy resources, including gas, nuclear and water, which, in the participants' opinion, have the potential to increase the country's prosperity, as well as to strengthen Europe's energy security. At the same time, energy security is an important pillar of the trans-Atlantic partnership, they said. The talks also focused on how Romania can use its resources to build a stronger economic dimension with its European and American allies.

The participants also spoke about improving the investment climate in the energy field, transparency, predictability and stability - as the main factors for building and developing a more attractive investment climate in the energy field and how Romania can become a true energy hub in the region and in Europe.

The event was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ramona Manescu, directors of companies from the energy sector, the president of the Prahova Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Aurelian Gogulescu, politicians and business people.

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