GCMC attends Romanian Parliamentary, Hosts Black Sea Forum on Energy Security

Black Sea Forum on Energy Security Group Photo

GCMC attends Romanian Parliamentary, Hosts Black Sea Forum on Energy Security

The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies met with key members of the Romanian government on March 19th at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Romania. The event, hosted by Mr. Răzvan Prișcă, Member of the Chamber of Deputies, was also attended by Romanian Senator Roberta Anastase, GCMC leadership and professors on strategic and regional security studies.

In her opening remarks, Senator Anastase underscored the imperative of sustained collaboration, emphasizing the importance of energy security as both an immediate priority and a long-term sustainable endeavor. "We need to strengthen collaboration between the region, the EU, and the U.S.," stated Senator Anastase, setting the tone for the discussions to follow.

Romanian Senator Roberta Anastase at Black Sea Event with GCMC Director Seguin
Romanian Senator Roberta Anastase provided opening remarks with Marshall Center Director Barre Seguin at the Parliamentary Event held in Bucharest, Romania, Mar. 19.

The panel discussion was aimed at fostering dialogue and collaboration among political decision-makers, academics, and experts to address the intricate challenges to energy security in the extended Black Sea region. With the backdrop of Russian aggression against Ukraine exacerbating tensions, participants delved into regional developments and strategies to enhance resilience to energy challenges and avenues for cooperation with the EU and the U.S. to bolster energy independence across the region.

The following day, GCMC hosted a 2-day Black Sea Forum at the Romanian National Military Palace. The forum welcomed over 25 participants to discuss “Changing Dynamics in the Wider Black Sea Region,” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Organized by Dr. Yevgeniya Gaber, the event featured speakers including GCMC Director retired Maj. Gen. Barre Seguin, Commandant of the “Carol I” Defense University Maj. Gen. Eugene Mavris, former United States Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza, Mr. Peer Gebauer, German Ambassador to Romania, and Ms. Kathleen Kavalec, U.S. Ambassador to Romania. The event provided a platform for participants to assess strategic balances and national approaches, while emphasizing the importance of NATO unity in the face of regional challenges.

Black Sea Forum on Energy Security Group Photo

Maj. Gen. Mavris opened the event with a history of the University and thanked GCMC. “Our sincere appreciation goes to our esteemed partner the Marshall Center, for their unwavering commitment in fostering cooperation, knowledge and exchanging security ideas.”

Director Seguin said, “Ukraine is continuing to fight against Russian aggression while neighboring countries deal with the threat of destabilization. The conflict has also affected greater navigation in the Black Sea. The situation calls for a comprehensive and coherent strategy towards the region."

GCMC’s Dr. Graeme Herd provided an analysis on Russia’s Strategy in the Black Sea. “Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022 results in a precarious and fragile balance by 2024, but in the Black Sea at least, we witness a shift in the balance of maritime power. Remarkably, Ukraine without a navy becomes a naval power.” 

Dr. Herd Speaking at Black Sea Forum
GCMC Professor Research and Policy Analysis Dr. Graeme Herd addresses participants at the Black Sea Forum held in Bucharest, Romania, Mar. 20-21.

Discussions continued on the second day with a focus on protracted conflicts, security challenges and strategic power competition, with insights provided by Dr. May-Britt U. Stumbaum, Dr. Yevgeniya Gaber and Dr. Sebastian von Münchow, and closed with remarks from GCMC Ambassador-in-Residence Eric Nelson. “Regarding the debate on strategy, at a minimum we need to have good plans and look to our allies to help lead. Let’s also think about how best to empower them and assist in capacity-building in order to succeed and protect the alliance," said Amb. Nelson.