19 April 2019

Interview Dorel Caprar: I do not think we should compare NATO’s stability with another establishment

Petriana Condrut

Dorel Gheorghe Caprar, the president of the Defence Commission from the Deputy Chamber, has stated, about the possibility to create a European Army, that it is not a good idea to compare a structure like NATO to something we do not know if it will be ever functional

“Our partners do not always value us as they should and I have never tried to make them understand - I am talking here about ambassadors who are giving us lessons, but also other representatives of partner states from the EU  - that Romania and Romanians are equal to them, that we are EU members and our armies within NATO as well” stated Dorel Caprar.

On the possibility to found a European army, the president of the Defence Commission from the Deputy Chamber states: “If these discussions are constructive, everybody is ok with it. I believe that NATO, given that is has a history and has done a lot of great things until now, can continue to be a support and a protective umbrella for all NATO countries (…) I do not think that it is a good idea to compare NATO’s stability with another establishment that we do not even know if will ever be functional or not”.

We are presenting you the entire interview with Dorel Caprar, for MEDIAFAX and the Defence Monitor:

MEDIAFAX: How important it is for us the message transmitted by the American experts within the Defence Monitor conference, that the US remains in the NATO alliance and NATO is here to protect us?

Dorel Caprar: The message is a positive and important one. But I would add some things. Indeed, NATO is here to protect us, but NATO firstly protects us with the help of Romania’s Army, with Romania’s capabilities, through Romania’s Army efficiency and through Romania’s Army interoperability with the other NATO armies.

MEDIAFAX: You are representing the defence commission. Please, tell me what does this for a better collaboration with NATO?

Dorel Caprar: Firstly, we are interested, besides the legislative activity, to know better what is happening in defence and security field and in the public order as well. The defence commission protects, metaphorically speaking, the Defence Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, ORNIS, SPP and STS. As for NATO, we had many activities related to that, we have visited NATO in Brussels three times, we had meetings with NATO’s representatives, we had a conference organized in Bucharest, related to NATO. We are also involved in a project that, I would say, it is important for NATO’s stability police; it is a new concept in terms of European gendarmerie, where the Italian carabineers have the main role, and the Romanian gendarmerie has an extremely important role as well. There are discussions about this new concept, great for supporting the armies in case of a conflict. The role of this NATO stability police is to ensure the stability of a country, after the army’s intervention, and regain independency and get things back to normal.

MEDIAFAX: The European Union and NATO are two complementary structures or rather two structures which, at some point, could compete on certain fields?

Dorel Caprar: I see them as complementary. Romania is an important actor across the European Union and NATO as well. I think Romania does a great job, accomplishes all its duties, for EU and NATO. Our partners do not always value us as they should and I had never tried to make them understand - I am talking here about ambassadors who are giving us lessons, but also other representatives of partner states from the EU - that Romania and Romanians are equal to them, that we are EU members and our armies within NATO as well.

The fact that there are theories about a European Army - in fact they are talking about a European defence fund - the fact that there are talks on certain forces from Europe being more important than America and NATO’s umbrella, can have positive, but also negative sides. If these discussions are constructive, everybody is ok with it. I believe that NATO, given that is has a history and has done a lot of great things until now, can continue to be a support and a protective umbrella for all NATO countries, and not only, and I would tell you why: last week I have participated at an exercise in Cincu, an exercise based on the military operational medicine, whereat have participated 34 countries, hence, more than NATO’s presence, where military doctors from these particular countries have done extraordinary things and I congratulate the Romanian military doctors,  who I think are a lot better than other nations which think of themselves as the greatest and stronger than Romania.

I believe such things should be known by the public opinion as well, that NATO does not only protect NATO members, but also others. Romania is an important player, Romania’s geostrategic position is extremely important, for NATO and the EU and I think every conflicting discussion, like the one about the European army being better than NATO, does not make sense. I have heard some of my homologues from EU countries saying that <<what’s with the Americans? They only have three-four types of aircrafts, Europe has more than 20. They only have a few types of military ships, we, in Europe, we have tens of these, aircraft carriers and others>>. They were comparing the Americans with some of the strong countries within the European Union. It is ok to be aware of these comparisons, but not ok to compare them in terms of stability, one created within NATO’s umbrella. It is something that we do not know if it will ever be functional or not.

Indeed, we need that money for that development fund, but I would like for that money to go in all defence industries, not just in some EU’s defence industries. And I am talking about Romania’s defence industry, that we all must support, refresh; and one more thing that we have been discussing at the Defence Commission: the defense industry has called on all the actors, the private producers, state’s producers, Economy’s Ministry, the Ministry of Defence, all the structures across the national defence and security to discuss about the following steps in the legislative field, but also to talk about increasing the production, developing the education in the field as Romania has been a very good player in the past.  

As we speak, Romanians engineers are working in other countries’ companies, and I am talking about Israel, for example, where I made some visits to certain manufactories and met Romanian engineers. Mostly in the aeronautics industry, we have a great experience in the aeronautics industry. We can, besides what we have now, the manufactory in Craiova, Bacau, Romaero from Bucharest, we can develop this industry, because it is so necessary for the civilians the militaries. But, almost each time, interoperability between civilians and militaries is absolutely normal and it is ensuring a stability for that states that gets it.

I think we, at the Defence Commission, understood that, and we are trying to support those players, to get them at the table, to force them to take stances and encourage them to come up with ideas and solutions on the legislative part and not only. We are setting up conference, we are presenting different systems, learned lessons, we are inviting foreign experts, discuss with experts and I think that all of these will, at some point, be important for the defence field, for the safety and education in defence and for Romania’s citizen, because that is what we are interested in the most.