The Bucharest Format (B9)
The First Parliamentary Summit of the Bucharest Format (B9) will be hosted by the Senate of Romania in Constantin Stere Hall, between the 17th and 19th of April 2018, under the auspices of the Centenary of the Great Union. This is an important event in the framework of multilateral parliamentary diplomacy that will discuss issues in the field of security and defense, present on the Allied agenda. The participating delegations will represent parliaments of the countries participating in the Bucharest Format: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary. Guests of honor at the Summit will be the Mr. Gerard Larcher, President of the Senate of France, Mr. Paolo Alli, President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and the delegate of NATO Secretary general, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) of NATO Allied Command Operations. The consultations will take place anong the parliamentary delegations and will benefit, during a special session, of the participation of two distinguished resource persons: Mr. Matti Saarelainen, Director of the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Helsinki), and Mr. Tomáš Valášek, director of Carnegie Europe (London).
Launched by the end of 2014, at the initiative of Romania and Poland, and benefitting from the support of the United States of America, the B9 Format of consultations among NATO’s Eastern Flank countries is aiming at bringing together the specific contributions of the nine participating states to the Alliance based on common interests and in full concordance to the principles of solidarity and indivisibility of the NATO member states’ security. The B9 Format is characterized by clear principles, such as: the complementary in the field of security with regional initiatives focusing on economic projects, and the transparency among the Allied states, constantly aiming at maintaining a robust trans-Atlantic link, based on solidarity and shared responsibility.
As such, the first high level meeting defined in 2015 the key-objectives of the B9 Format as following: increasing defense capability and discouraging attacks on the Eastern Flank, ensuring cohesion to the Central and Eastern Europe countries in front of any possible major security challenges that are being manifest since 2014 in the Eastern vicinity of NATO and EU, as well as promoting joint approaches to common challenges to the benefit of the entire Euro-Atlantic community. The partners take the opportunity put forward by the B9 Format to develop a space for debate aiming at mutually understanding and learning the specificity of every participating country, in order to maximize convergent points between allies. The Bucharest Format proved its utility during the NATO Summit in Warsaw (2016), as proven by the decisions adopted to consolidate the Eastern Flank and by the further measures of implementation.
The Parliamentary Dimension of Bucharest Format
The inauguration of the parliamentary pillar of the B9 Format during the First Bucharest Format Parliamentary Summit (B9), hosted in Bucharest by the Senate of Romania, takes place at the co-initiative of Mr. Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, President of the Senate of Romania, and Mr. Stanisław Karczewski, Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland.
Against the backdrop of the current geo-political realities, the B9 Parliamentary Summit constitutes an element of parliamentary diplomacy, in a multilateral setting. The B9 parliamentary pillar aims both at preparing and promoting the NATO agenda, and at facilitating convergent positions by proposing the strengthening of the role the Parliaments play, at respective national levels, in adopting the appropriate legislation governing the domains of security and defense. This Parliamentary Summit aims at discussing, from the perspective of Legislators, the priorities of NATO Eastern Flank in preparation of the NATO Summit in Brussels (July, 2018).
The Summit program begins on 17 April with an official dinner offered by Mr. Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, President of the Senate of Romania, in honor of the Heads of delegations. This will be followed, on 18 April, with the opening session during which the co-presidents of the Summit and the guests of honor are invited to address the Summit. This session will be followed by two working sessions. The Parliamentary Summit is tackling, among other topics, aspects regarding the contributions of the Legislatives in strengthening the defence and deterrence capacity on NATO’s Eastern flank, fair burden sharing, combating terrorism, military mobility, perceptions regarding threats faced by the participating countries, legal defense strengthening etc.
At the end of the Summit, a Co-chairs’ Communiqué will be adopted.