PM Ponta offers support for Romanian candidate in race for NATO Secretary General seat


Either a Romanian or a Pole could be the next Secretary General of the North Atlantic Organization NATO, once the current secretary general, Danish Anders Fogh Rasmussen ends his mandate in 2014. The news, which had already been rumored in the Romanian media, was given by the Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Local media had been speculating the Romanian president Traian Basescu has a chance in the race, as his presidential mandate will also end in 2014. The PM too mentioned the president’s name, but only to say that a Romanian, who was not Basescu, came to ask for the PM’s support for the NATO leadership position. Commentators put forward the name of Mircea Geoana, the former Foreign Affairs Minister and once a candidate in the presidential race, who lost to Basescu in the previous elections.

“It is possible – and it is very possible- that the future NATO secretary general comes from one of the new NATO member states, which clearly means either Poland or Romania. I knew it was not impossible for a Romanian to be named, as somebody, not Basescu, talked to me about this topic, and I said I’d support him,” said the PM on a TV program. The PM also said that he would offer his support irrespective of past quarrels. When asked whether it was about Mircea Geoana, the PM said he could neither confirm, nor deny.

Geoana, a former president of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), was ousted from the party now led by Victor Ponta. Geoana recently said that during his visit to the US he urged the naming of a future NATO secretary general from one of the new members of NATO. Damon Wilson, executive vice-president of the Atlantic Council, recently wrote on Twitter account that Mircea Geoana is a ‘credible candidate for the NATO Secretary General position’.

Rasmussen took the Secretary General of NATO position in 2009, replacing Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has 28 members, and its purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.

The NATO Secretary General is is the Alliance’s top international civil servant. This person is responsible for steering the process of consultation and decision-making in the Alliance and ensuring that decisions are implemented. The Secretary General is also NATO’s chief spokesperson and the head of the Organization’s International Staff. Romanian-born Oana Lungescu, a German citizen, is currently the NATO Spokesperson.

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