Romania's prime minister-designate Dacian Ciolos (C) shakes hands with delegates at the Romanian Parliament in Bucharest November 17, 2015. Ciolos, 46, was tasked by President Klaus Iohannis with forming a new government after ex-premier Victor Ponta stepped down following mass anti-government protests sparked by a nightclub fire that killed 55 people in Bucharest. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL MIHAILESCU (Photo credit should read DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)
WARSAW — Romania's parliament has approved the country's new government formed by Dacian Ciolos, the former European Union agriculture commissioner. The caretaker government replaces the cabinet of Victor Ponta whose government collapsed amid mass protests.
Romania’s new Defense Minister Mihnea Ioan Motoc is a seasoned diplomat. Among other previous roles, he was had previously served as the country’s ambassador to the UK since April, 2015. and earlier, hePrior to this, Motoc worked as was Romania’s Permanent Representative to the EU in Brussels, and the country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
The top priorities for the new minister include the government's ongoing project to use a national emergency procedure to allocate extra funds to the country’s defense industry, and support the production of new weapons for the Romanian military as a result of the rising insecurity in neighboring Ukraine. The new funds would are to enable local defense companies to deliver armored vehicles, air defense missiles, explosives, artillery systems, personal weapons and other gear to the Romanian Armed Forces, according to a draft document released last September.
Another major issue for the new minister will be related to the ongoing debate on restoring conscription in Romania. Earlier this year, local daily Gandul reported that Romania's then-Defense Minister Mircea Dusa was mulling to restore conscription as a result of Russia's increased military activities in Eastern Europe.