Romania in GMF Transatlantic Trends

The findings in the recent survey of the German Marshall Fund (GMF) reflects the main trends that has been constant in Romania’s foreign policy, state secretary with the Romanian Foreign Ministry Bogdan Aurescu told a debate on Monday on the survey conducted in the US and Europe and released last week.

The 2009 Transatlantic Trends of the German Marshall Fund of the United States was conducted June 9 – July 1, 2009, in the US and 12 European countries – Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

‘As far as the conclusions of the survey are concerned, they confirm to a great extent the main trends that has been constant in Romania’s foreign policy that are reflected in the programme of the incumbent Romanian Government and were reflected in the programme of the previous one and that will undoubtedly remain on the frontline: attachment to the EU values, increasing the profile of the EU and increasing the presence of Romania within the EU, as well as strengthening the trans-Atlantic relationship,’ said Aurescu.

According to the survey, Romania was one of the least supportive countries (38 percent) of applying diplomatic pressure on Russia to meet its commitments to provide energy to other countries and was by far the most supportive (75 percent) of increasing energy cooperation with Russia, event if its government remains undemocratic.

Romania had one of the smallest percentage (12 percent) who felt their government was spending too much on economic recovery. In fact, 62 percent of Romanians expressed a pro-spending sentiment.
Likewise, three in four Romanian reported that the economic downturn hurt their family finances.

Romanians are worried about climate change and know that their personal action can make a difference. ‘As regards the perspective on climate, there are some interesting results for Romania: while there is an opinion that there is a lack of ecological culture in Romania and individual ecological culture, nearly 50 percent of Romanians are worried about climate change. First among the respondents were the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch,’ says GMF official Alina Inayehy.

Thus, 76 percent of Romanians believe personal action can make a difference in fighting climate change, although this is not reflected in their daily life, says Inayehy, adding that the Romanian Environmental Ministry could think of more strict measures in the area of the environment because it would have the public backing.
Romanians were the most ardent supporters of Turkey’s accession to the European Union, far above the EU average.

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