Laurentiu Rebega: Baby Steps Won’t Do – Big Leaps Are Needed for Romania

Guest post by Laurentiu Regeba, MEP for Romania

The Three Seas Initiative Summit is a regional format bringing together EU Member States from the former communist bloc plus Austria.

Americans should be interested in it.

It took place in Bucharest on the 17-18th of September.

These countries occupy a strategic position between Germany and Russia.

Gearing them around values such as democracy, rule of law, and human rights is a safeguard for economic development and prosperity. From this point of view, the Bucharest Summit was dedicated to transportation, energy, and digital interconnectivity.

It is very good that the cooperation between these states began with these strategic fields.


The nexus between several state entities is drawn through exchanges, which need an infrastructure. And, the more roads, wires, and pipes there are, the more this assembly becomes coherent and functional.

Interconnectivity will gradually lead to a harmonization of the political position, a homogenization of the markets, and, hence, to common interests. In turn, the common interests will allow for the elaboration of durable development and security policies. The results of this summit were a determination to move forward and assure the funding of joint infrastructure projects.

Even though it was a step forward, it was only a baby step.

The weak part is that Romania, the organizing state, was not represented properly in the actual decisions. The main reason why this happened was the conflict between the Presidency and the Government.

Unfortunately, Romania has a lot to learn when it comes to articulating national interest.

When internal political divergences happen, the winners are always the external disturbing factors.

Are there external powers that are interested in maintaining Eastern Europe in a grey area?

Of course! And we don’t even have to look very far! You can guess who.

Was there more to be done?

Here the answer is positive too. For instance, the US Secretary for Energy, Rick Perry, and the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heiko Mass, were present at the summit in Bucharest.

For Romania this would have been an excellent moment to become the interface between the German and American interests in the region. Without the support of the government, President Iohannis could not make the big leap that Romania needed. Hence, Romania will have to wait for the next opportunity.

When you have small legs, it is difficult to make big leaps.

Whoever is smart, can jump on a big horse. But, in order to find a big horse, you need courage and entrepreneurial spirit.

Romania, like otter such countries, has to make up its mind and bravely play all its cards on the European energy market. In this case, the big horse is the United States’ support. We all look to the US.

The baby steps policy can be useful in defensive situations, when certain positions that have already been won need to be protected. But, when you are among the big players and you have nothing to lose, you must know what you want and make the big leap.

Entrepreneurs win the day, not laggards.

This is still being learned in many parts of eastern and southern Europe.


Laurentiu Rebega is a Romanian politician and since 2014, a member of the European Parliament (MEP). Rebega is a full member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (COMAGRI) and the Committee on Petitions (PETI) and a substitute in the European Parliament.

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