Director Ducaru meets Ministers in Bucharest on 16 Nov
On 16 November 2020, the SatCen Director Ambassador Sorin Ducaru had meetings in Bucharest with the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, the Romanian Minister of Defence, Nicolae Ciuca, and the Romanian Environment Minister Mircea Fechet. The meetings took place in the context of the increasing interest and support manifested by the Romanian Government for the SatCen operational support activities.
In the discussions, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Aurescu emphasized the growing relevance of SatCen work for informed and evidence-based situational awareness and associated political decision-making. This valuable role has become even more relevant during the pandemic where restrictions on ground mobility have increased the demand for geospatial analysis. The minister appreciated SatCen’s contributions for the situational awareness in the Black Sea region and the wider European neighborhood as well as for the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy, at large. The discussion also touched upon some highlights related to the EU’s foreign and security policy agenda as well as aspect of space-related developments
The Minister of Defence Ciuca appreciated the very close cooperation of SatCen with the Romanian MoD, which also assumes the important role of the Romanian governmental Point of Contact with SatCen. The Centre’s products, the use of SatCen’s imagery data-base, as well as the training programmes are highly valued by the Romanian MoD. Director Ducaru expressed SatCen’s gratefulness for the consistent political, budgetary, and in-kind support offered by the Romanian MoD, including through the highly qualified Romanian Seconded National Experts performing their activity on a rotational basis at SatCen. The Minister of Defence also expressed the strong Romanian backing for the vision on the future development of SatCen in line with the growing user demand and the opportunities offered by technological revolutions in the space and IT domains. He also expressed clear support for the initiative of EU High Representative Josep Borrell to organize, in the first part of next year, a ministerial level meeting dedicated to SatCen.
The Minister for Environment Fechet expressed his interest in using satellite data and analysis for environmental monitoring and protection, in line with the EU high priority “green” agenda as well as Romania’s strong engagement in addressing environmental challenges. The Ministry for Environment, together with the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), intends to investigate how to exploit the cooperation with SatCen and the EU Copernicus Programme for a geospatial intelligence project on protection against illegal environmental activities.
The Romanian ministers accepted Director Ducaru’s invitation to visit the Center in the future and expressed support for the further development of SatCen as a unique operational and autonomous European geospatial analysis asset.