AOSR DEBATES – EDITION III – Good governance and resilience to hybrid threats

On 22 November 2017, in the Marble Hall of the National Military Circle, took place the debate “GOOD GOVERNANCE AND RESILIENCE AGAINST HYBRID THREATS – A PRIORITY AT NATIONAL LEVEL”, under the auspices of the Academy of Romanian Scientists. The debate was attended by representatives of the Presidential Administration, the Government and the Romanian Parliament, political leaders and decision-makers, specialists in the field of military science, experts in governance and defence policy, members of the academic world, scientific researchers, representatives of civil society, academics and students. The meeting thus brought together qualified participants with expertise in the fields under discussion, authorities and decision-makers, which created the necessary conditions for an event with a pronounced specialist character. The debate was organised by the Academy of Romanian Scientists through the Military Sciences Section.

Through the debate Good Governance, a way to increase resilience to hybrid threats, AOSR has launched in the public environment, for reflection, analysis and qualified action, a topic of exceptional importance for the Romanian state and for Romanian society as a whole. The importance of the topic is obvious nowadays, against the background of international developments in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and other regions of the world, in an era marked by tensions, instability, secessionist tendencies, frozen or ongoing conflicts, migration, wars, terrorism and serious threats to the security of states and global peace and security.

The means involved in these critical phenomena today involve a great diversity in relation to traditional approaches – this diversity includes the processes of influence, information intoxication, discrediting, manipulation, etc. -, leading to concepts and phrases such as “hybrid warfare”, “hybrid threats”, etc. New strategies and methods, the variety of means that are used in today’s offensive processes and acts of aggression pose new challenges to states, their national security, international relations and peace. Against the backdrop of all these developments in today’s world, taking into account its geographical location, proximity to conflict zones, points of potential conflict, geo-strategic, historical, political and economic data that define it, Romania must assess its vulnerabilities and external and internal threats in order to increase its resilience to potential risks and ensure national security.

Under these circumstances, resilience and national security must be, more than ever, an absolute priority of any governance, which calls for strategies, initiatives and synergistic actions at the level of state institutions.

Within an overall framework of broad thematic coverage, the debate on Good Governance as a way to increase resilience to hybrid threats prioritised the following points:
– Hybrid aggression physiognomy;
– Increasing national resilience to the full spectrum of threats;
– The specific components and directions of good governance;
– The relationship between good governance and national resilience;
– Reducing social system vulnerabilities and increasing resilience;
– The importance of security culture for increasing resilience.

The event was opened by Prof. Dr. Eng. Adrian Badea, President of the Academy of Romanian Scientists and initiator of the “AOSR Debates” project, who revealed the importance of the topic in the current geopolitical framework, defined by tensions and conflicts, in a world marked by violence, military aggression, wars and terrorism. The theme and the realities defined by it, namely hybrid threats, are of particular importance for Romania, which is located in a highly sensitive geographical and geo-political area, with developments that entail a series of risks and vulnerabilities. Resilience and national security, Professor Badea stressed, must therefore be a priority objective of state institutions, a permanent concern of theirs in the context of regional and global instability, the diversification of means of influence and the paradigm shift in the conduct of international relations and conflicts.

The discussions were moderated by Gen. (r) Prof. Teodor Frunzeti, President of the Military Sciences Section of the Academy of Romanian Scientists, who proposed the theme of the debate and coordinated the organization of the event. The debate was structured in alternating sessions of lectures and dialogue between participants, during which questions and opinions were formulated.

The lecture session included a series of substantial presentations by decision-makers in the state apparatus and authority representatives in the fields covered by the theme of the meeting:
– Ion Oprișor, Presidential Adviser, Head of National Security Department – Presidential Administration;
– Roberta Alma Anastase, MP – Vice-Chairwoman of the European Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies;
– Raed Arafat, State Secretary – Ministry of the Interior;
– General Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă, Chief of Defence Staff – Ministry of National Defence;
– Gen. Ionel Sorinel Vasilca, Director – Special Telecommunications Service;
– Chief Superintendent of Police Cristian Stoica, Director, Directorate of Immigration – General Inspectorate for Immigration;
– Alexandru Cumpănașu – President of the National Coalition for the Modernization of Romania;
– Conf. Dr. Adi Mustață – “Carol I” National Defence University (Good governance through evidence-based decisions. The case of behavioural economics);
– Conf. Dr. Aliodor Manolea (Ways to increase resilience to the hybrid threats of Transcendent Warfare – Transpersonal Warfare);
– Gen. Prof. Dr. Constantin Mincu, Full Member of AOSR (Good Governance and Defence of the Country 1990-2017);
– Gen. Prof. Dr. Anghel Andreescu, Full Member of AOSR (Good Governance, the sure solution for progress in Romania);
– Col. Dr. Eugen Siteanu, Corresponding Member AOSR (Good Governance and Countering Hybrid Threats);
– Col. Dr. Anatol Munteanu, AOSR Associate Member (Conflicts and Hybrid War in Transnistria).

The interventions of the participants analysed, from specific positions, the phenomenon of hybrid threats, how they involve Romania’s security and stability, presented the strategies, measures and initiatives implemented to counter the threats and to ensure the country’s security and put forward a series of proposals to address the field, at conceptual, political and practical levels. Beyond the diversity of perspectives in analysing the phenomenon, the opinions expressed were convergent in the idea of the need and priority of increasing resilience to hybrid threats through good governance, itself a national necessity.

By concentrating the participation of decision-makers, experts and specialists in the field, academics from higher education (National Defence University “Carol I”) and scientific researchers, the debate Good governance, a way to increase resilience to hybrid threats was conducted at an academic and highly expert level. The positions, ideas, initiatives and proposals formulated during the debate will be summarised in a final document, which will contain the main conclusions of the meeting and will be submitted to the state institutions. The papers presented will be published in the scientific journal of the Military Section of the Academy of Romanian Scientists.

The event is part of the “AOSR DEBATES” Project, initiated by the Academy of Romanian Scientists in 2017, through which the institution aims to hold a series of meetings and discussions, with the participation of policy makers, decision makers, representatives of academic and educational environments, scientists, researchers, experts, specialists, students, members of civil society, etc., on topics of priority interest for Romania today and for the future of the country. Through the “AOSR Debates” project, the organizing institution intends to constitute an agora of public and academic personalities, of representatives of Romanian society in its diversity, a space for dialogue on major issues, ideas and solutions and, last but not least, a framework for dialogue between generations. The fundamental objective of the Project is to create an academic, scientific, cultural and civic forum in which to identify and promote solutions for the development and affirmation of Romania in the European Union and the world.