Romania: Change of course in Romanian diplomacy

Romania: Change of course in Romanian diplomacy

The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, signed yesterday the decrees for the recall of 14 Ambassadors, including Dan Mihalache, Ambassador of Romania to Great Britain and Adrian Cioroianu, Permanent Representative to UNESCO. On Friday, Klaus Iohannis recalled another group of 12 ambassadors, including the country’s ambassador to Moscow.

The Ambassadors of Romania to Russia, Turkey, Hungary, the Netherlands, Finland, Iraq, Lebanon, Paraguay, Uruguay, Peru-Bolivia-Ecuador, Australia-New Zealand-Small Pacific-Malaysian States and Malaysia were recalled on Friday.

Political sources cited the end of their term as the reason.

However, a second wave of recalls followed yesterday. Romanian Ambassadors to Great Britain, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Georgia, Iran, Uzbekistan, India-Maldives, Bangladesh, Macedonia, Bangladesh Romania to international organizations based in Vienna.

Adrian Mihai Cioroianu, who was recalled from UNESCO, had served as Foreign Minister in the Tăriceanu government.

Dan Mihalache served as head of the Presidential Chancellery following the election of Klaus Iohannis as President of Romania. He handled the issue of British Romanians in the context of Brexit, as well as many electoral contests.

The sweeping wave of change that has gripped 26 diplomats, including many celebrities who have been sent to represent Romania’s geopolitically difficult countries, stems from a desire to change the pattern of foreign policy. According to diplomatic sources, this is a process of depoliticization, renewal of the body of ambassadors both as personalities and in terms of age, and use of their abilities depending on the specifics of the country in which they are appointed.

Diplomatic sources explained that the 26 diplomats were recalled because their term had expired, some had already exceeded it long ago, but also because now, without the PSD in power, changes could be made in the way diplomatic missions are appointed.

“We could not reach an agreement with the PSD; they wanted to remove all the appointments of ambassadors from the party forums; it was an unacceptable politicization”, the same sources said.

The Foreign Ministry, under Bogdan Aurescu, has already prepared 31 names of diplomats who will take up positions in geostrategically important countries, such as Turkey, Russia and Hungary.

“These actions are part of the process, which began in November 2019, of reforming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, based on skills, to promote professionals in this highly specialized field, who will represent at the highest level the interests of Romania (both in the Central Office and in abroad)”, diplomatic sources reported.

One third of the Ambassadors to be appointed, ie 11 persons, will occupy the post of ambassador for the first time. Also, the distribution by gender will be almost equal, 14 women and 17 men. An important first is the age renewal of the body of ambassadors: those appointed for the first time have an average age of 46 years, while the general average age of appointments is 51 years.

The most important change of all is that the diplomats who are being sent abroad have a specialization in the affairs of the countries in which they are being appointed.

The correlation – or compatibility – of the area of ​​responsibility and the profile of the proposed person was sought, in other words, the promotion of diplomats specialized and experienced in the issues of their area of ​​responsibility.

In Russia, for example, will serve as an ambassador with experience in security and armaments control.

In North Macedonia, a 43-year-old female diplomat, director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, today, specializing in relations with international institutions and with experience in positions abroad.

In Albania, a 48-year-old ambassador specializing in human rights and minority protection, with various posts abroad.

In Peru, a 45-year-old diplomat specializing in Latin America and the Caribbean, in India, a 50-year-old female diplomat specializing in Asia, with previous experience in the region, fluent in Hindi./ibna