04 October 2019

D.S.M. Conference | General (ret.) Teodor Frunzeti: Allotting 2% of GDP for defence is not optimal. The budgetary implementation is important

Alexandru Costea

General (ret.) Teodor Frunzeti said that allotting 2% of the GDP for defence is not sufficient, but only the minimum amount necessary to recreate the defence capability. Frunzeti stated that the 2% allocation is not sufficient, because the budgetary implementation did not reach this level.

Image source: Mediafax

“Allotting 2% of the GDP is not optimal, it is the minimal to ensure decent security. It is a minimum to ensure that security functions. This 2% ensures the capacity to recreate the defence capabilities, because one of the conditions set by NATO in agreement with all allies is for at least 20% of this budget to be reserved for defence investments, meaning military technique purchases. We achieved somewhere around 32-33% last year, which is very good, but we must not forget that we have to make up for these years where no immediate investments were made after Romania joined NATO. Up until 2017, defence investments were only done as patching jobs. The first year which theoretically achieved this 2% was 2017, and this agreement states that at least 2% of the GDP should be allotted in the following ten years, starting with 2017. I say theoretically because not only what we plan is important, but also the budgetary implementation, because we are sometimes below 2% in budgetary implementation, despite it being made available by the budget law. Last year, the budgetary implementation was below 2%, as Romania’s yearly budget grew in absolute value, while the defence budget remained at the same level in absolute value,” General (ret.) Teodor Frunzetti, advisor in the Presidential Administration’s Department for Security, said during the D.S.M. Conference.

Frunzeti also stated that the national defence industry must be involved in using the budgetary resources from the 2%.

“It is important to discuss the capacity to engage budgetary resources and involve the national industry, because this is a big problem in carrying out endowment programs. Besides the legal framework, there is also an art and science which those who sign these types of programs must develop, so that they could convince their partners to invest in Romania, no only based on the offset law,” added that general.

The Defence & Security Monitor (D.S.M.) is hosting on Thursday, at the Marriott Hotel in Bucharest, the “National security policy, from strategic thought to defence institutions” Conference, a forum for debates with landmark guests from Romania and abroad. Among the subjects discussed at the event will be “the fundamental national interests and threats to national security”, “Romania’s capability to guarantee national security” and the concept of “Romanian national security” in international context.

Translated by Ionut Preda