Date: 24 April 2018
Poland and Romania: energy and infrastructure – summary of the Warsaw Institute conference in Bucharest
Warsaw Institute, alongside with SNSPA Bucharest, hosted more than 60 speakers and guests in the first Polish-Romanian Roundtable Talks, held in the Romanian Senate today. The representatives of the Polish and Romanian Government and Parliament emphasized the need of a closer cooperation between the two countries, in energy security and infrastructure. Bucharest meeting was the first one in a series of future events, co-organized by Warsaw Institute and meant to further strength the dialogue between Polish and Romanian officials.
The importance of Via Carpathia, a cooperation to strengthen energy security of the region of CEE, the future military cooperation and potential new joint projects were just some of the topics addressed during the Polish-Romanian Roundtable Talks, organized today in Bucharest. Among others, the meeting was attended by Ioan Mircea Pascu – Vice-President of the European Parliament, Adrian Tutuianu – Vice-Chair of the Romanian Senate, Piotr Naimski – Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland, Maciej Małecki – the Head of Energy and State Treasury Commission of the Polish Parliament, Viorel Ardeleanu – Director for Strategic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, Gheorghe Marian Cristescu – President of the Management Board at Chopin Airport Development, Krzysztof Kaminski – President of the Warsaw Institute Foundation, Iordan Gheorghe Barbulescu – Chair of Senate of the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration.
Piotr Naimski and Maciej Małecki have both described the future development of the Polish energy sector and the long term strategy of polish state owned companies, explaining the entire conception of the Polish Government in relation with the Baltic Pipe – the natural gas pipeline which will connect Norwegian gas fields with Polish and CEE gas systems through Denmark and Baltic Sea. Piotr Naimski emphasized the international situation on the natural gas market, describing the existing connections between Central and Eastern Europe countries, their transport capacitates and role of the North – South natural gas pipelines in the geopolitical context. Moreover, Naimski said that Polish energetic security is assured throught an energetic CERTs system (computer emergency response teams), meant to prevent the cyber threats from energy infrastructure. He also noted about very important role of the national TSOs (transmission system operators) in energy security of the country.
Discourse of Maciej Małecki focused on the new governing model of the state owned companies, especially the ones in energy, he described the current government efforts to stop the privatization process of the state owned companies and how the Polish state was restored its banking system (accounted now with more than 50% share of the polish state in this sector). According to Małecki, the law regulations which were implemented by the Polish Government managed to secure Polish strategic investments. The Romanian counterpart represented among others by Razvan Nicolescu and Viorel Ardeleanu underlined that Poland and Romania should work together on the stability and security of the suppliers of raw materials, especially natural gas and oil. Nicolescu underlined that both countries have to focus on the cyber security issues in order to secure critical energy infrastructure, while the first step to do on this is to put the threat of Russia influence and the risks it generates on the EU and NATO agenda.
Another addressed topic of the conference was infrastructure and transport. Due to the increased air traffic in the last few years, participants focused on the aviation sector. The speakers compared the situation of the national Romanian air carrier – TAROM – to its Polish counterpart. Ardeleanu focused his speech on the constant need for more flights between Polish and Romanian cities. Marian Cristescu described the Polish model of air fleet management in the long-term perspective and outlined what is the purpose of regional transportation hub development and what is the idea behind the construction of the Central Communication Port. He also mentioned the Polish national air carrier – LOT – and its large international success in recent years. In addition, he described strategies for the development of accompanying infrastructure of airports in Poland. An important element of the discussion was also the road infrastructure and the need to implement key projects, such as Via Carpathia. The participants also listened to the video message about Via Carpathia, which was provided by MEP Tomasz Poręba. He emphasized the strategic nature of this international infrastructure project.
Following the Polish-Romanian Roundtable talks, Warsaw Institute and SNSPA Bucharest will publish a policy paper which will include practical recommendation which were debated during the one day meeting. Speakers decided that more Polish-Romanian roundtable talks should be organized in order to strengthen the efforts of both Polish and Romanian administration, designed to preserve and develop the strategic alliance between the two countries. The presence of representatives of the Polish administration in Bucharest was also an opportunity for several bilateral meetings, especially in the area of energy security.