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Tuesday, 09 May 2023

Speech by H.E. Nicolae Ciucă, Prime Minister of Romania, at the event making the start of the activity in Bucharest of the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre

Presidential Advisor,
Distinguished representatives of the European Commission,
Mr. Director,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear guests,

I am particularly glad to be with you today at the headquarters of the Bucharest Polytechnic, in a building built with European funds. It could not have been a better place and time to launch an EU institution present for the first time in Romania. It is highly relevant that we inaugurate this centre today on Europe Day. 
 We opted to hold the inaugural ceremony for the start of the activity in Bucharest of the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (ECC) on May 9 precisely because of its special emblematic value as the first European agency based in Romania.
As of today, the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre is temporarily headquartered in the building we are now, thus allowing its new employees to work in Bucharest, in offices that are intended for their exclusive use. Soon, this location will host the permanent headquarters of this Centre. It is just a matter of time until all works and procedures are completed and then, this Centre will become fully operational. We chose this temporary headquarters as only some components will operate here as of today.
In addition to the importance that the Cybersecurity Competence Centre carries out its mandate from Bucharest, designated as its headquarters’ host city, I would like to point out another symbolic aspect.
Launching its activity in Bucharest is a clear signal that the European Union is present institutionally in Romania, reconfirming, 16 years since the EU accession, our country’s maturity as a Member State and its direct and relevant contribution to strengthening European construction.
Furthermore, ECCC’s presence in Bucharest conveys a clear message that the European Union is getting closer to its citizens, irrespective of how near or far the Member State is geographically situated from Brussels. The added value of the European policies is better felt through citizens’ direct exposure to the activity of the EU’s institutions and bodies. I want to particularly emphasize the relevance of these ties, today, on Europe Day, when we celebrate the European Union, its values, and significant contribution to our continent’s development, prosperity, and stability.
The activity of the Center is also developing against the background of the multiplication of hybrid attacks, of the challenges to Europe’s cyber security which have progressively accelerated, thus significantly growing since the end of 2021 and in 2022, not only in terms of number, but also in complexity and preparation. Let's not forget, in context, that Russia's unjustified and unprovoked war in Ukraine defined a new era in terms of major risks, role, and impact of cyber warfare in crises. 
Precisely for this reason, the presence in this part of Europe of an essential component for strengthening the EU’s cyber resilience reconfirms the attention extended to our joint efforts to protect the economy, citizens, and public institutions.
Last but not least, I would like to remind you that the decision to designate Bucharest as the host city of ECCC also took into account the very attractive ecosystem existing here in terms of knowledge, skills, innovation, and Romanian talent in the area of cyber security. I reiterate once more the importance emphasized by Mr. Rector in his speech, namely where we could have a Competence Centre other than in the Bucharest Polytechnic building. 
We, therefore, have all the ingredients in Bucharest for the Competence Centre to develop and effectively implement its mandate.
We rely as much as our European partners on the Competence Centre’s capacity to accelerate investments in cyber security research, technology, and industrial development. These joint efforts will be essential in harnessing the potential of several actors – industry, public sector, academic and research communities – to improve and strengthen cybersecurity technological and industrial capacities while strengthening the European Union’s strategic resilience.
Before wishing every success to the Competence Centre, based now in Bucharest, I would like to convey some thanks.
To establish this centre in Bucharest, to identify solutions for its best location, and to prepare this temporary seat, but also the permanent one, the Romanian administration, and its partners have worked closely with the European Commission.
The designation of Bucharest as a host city for this Centre is a whole of a country’s success. It represents the efforts of the entire administration, supported by H.E. Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania and it benefited from a political consensus that we expect to be reflected in the Parliament’s approval of the agreement on the ECCC headquarters, between the Romanian Government and the Competence Centre. And because Mr. Alexandru Nazare is here, I remember that when he participated in the selection process, we met to discuss the lessons learned from the negotiation process and the approval to establish the Centre in Bucharest after the vote was cast. We remember with pleasure this moment.
 We enjoy the presence here of dignitaries who initiated these demarches, the members of the team that prepared Romania’s application to host the ECCC, and also the teams working to make this Centre fully operational in Bucharest. Madam Ambassador Luminita Odobescu, you are working closely with the EU countries’ ambassadors, I also thank the Foreign Minister for these efforts as it was also a success of the Romanian diplomacy.
I would like to convey, in this context, appreciation for the perseverance of the team of my Chancellery and of its Head, Mr Rector also highlighted their efforts to identify the best location, to discuss and collaborate with representatives of the Commission, for us to inaugurate this Centre today, on Europe Day.
I also thank the European Commission, the Executive Interim Director of the Centre for the close partnership and good cooperation.
I am also aware that the first members of the Cybersecurity Competence Centre’s staff are with us today. I thank them for having decided to work in Romania. We very much count on their professionalism and efforts to build together the most effective and dynamic EU agency!
I wish you every success further on!
Happy anniversary, European Union!
Happy Anniversary, Romania within the European Union!

 Răspundem cetăţenilor


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