Romania’s possible new foreign minister, Bogdan Aurescu

Romanian lawyer and career diplomat Bogdan Aurescu (46, pictured above) is slated to become the country’s next foreign minister if parliament – as expected – votes in the new government led by liberal Ludovic Orban.

Aurescu is a graduate of law, history, and defense studies. He practically made his name by winning a five-year lawsuit at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for Romania against Ukraine in 2009. This extended the country’s continental shelf in the Black Sea, which contains important natural gas and crude reserves.

He also briefly served as foreign minister between November 2014 and November 2015. He last spoke about Romanian-Hungarian relations in an official capacity shortly before his ministerial tenure ended, in October 2015. At the time, he said that while there are some unsolved issues in bilateral relations, such as the protocol of the bilateral commission on minorities, the two countries also have many successful common projects.

He said Romania primarily regards Hungary as a strategic partner, but he did criticize the border fence Hungary built to stop the 2015 migration wave, labeling it as “unacceptable autistic behavior” that went against the spirit of the European Union.

More recently, Romania did take in ten migrants from Italy this summer, but the country’s official position is that it rejects any mandatory EU scheme for migrant settlement and sanctions against non-compliant member states, defining these as the country’s “red lines” with regard to migration.

Given that foreign policy is mainly the purview of the president in Romania’s semi-presidential political system, significant foreign policy changes are unlikely under the new government.

Title image: Bogdan Aurescu, the Romanian president’s foreign policy advisor, slated to become foreign minister in the new government (source: mae.ro)

Author: Dénes Albert