Gradual rise in Army procurement spending is a gov’t priority

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The strategic goal of the governmental act as regards national defence is the full development of the military body’s capability of decision-making and action with a view to asserting Romania’s interests and capitalising on the opportunities within the European, Euro¬Atlantic and international community, the governing programme put forward by Prime Minister Emil Boc says.

The Romanian defence policy can be influenced at home in the upcoming period by a range of developments mostly resulting from economic and financial grounds, while the budget constraints prompted by the economic and financial crisis will create financing difficulties in the defence sector, the governing programme says in the chapter on National Defence.

The fact that successive outstanding issues in the fulfilment of the defence goals have been amassed, as they were postponed from the prior years results in the overlapping of their deadlines with the ones set for the current period, which raises the prospect of an increased financing need and the budget revisions from 2007-2009 had also entailed a cut in the procurement spending by some 406 million euros, the document says.

At the same time there are certain favourable prerequisites, such as the fact that the Romanian troops have ended their mission in Iraq and thus some financial resources will be made available for the defence programmes; on the other hand, the new requirements in the operation theatre in Afghanistan call for a beefed up Romanian participation in ISAF by significant elements such as the force multipliers that will entail additional costs, the programme points out.

The new executive’s priorities in this area include a strengthened Romanian profile within NATO, the development of the Romanian contribution to the European Security and Defence Policy in Romania’s capacity of a European Union member, the country’s commitment to the fight against terrorism and combating of the proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction, the enhanced contribution to ensuring regional security and stability and the development of Romania’s defence capability.

The government will seek to equip the Army with performing weapons systems in accordance with its NATO missions, with the home security needs and with the major procurement programmes; it will also seek to gradually raise the share of the procurement spending so that it should account for at least 20 percent of the defence ministry’s budget on the long-term, in line with NATO recommendations by setting and keeping the defence budget at close to 2 percent and the development of a management system of the individual career of the civil and military personnel and of the military education system, the government’s programme stipulates.

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