The authorities in Bucharest are working hard to prepare for the takeover of the presidency of the EU Council in the first half of next year, working with EU officials to set its priorities for the term.
The authorities in Bucharest are working hard to prepare for the takeover of the presidency of the EU Council in the first half of next year, working with EU officials to set its priorities for the term. Preparations in terms of organization and logistics, for the events Romania will host, are in full swing, with a calendar expected to be announced by late November, according to the authorities in Bucharest. Events will be held in the capital city and in Sibiu. The latter will host, on the 9th of May, the EU summit, an ample discussion on EU's future and strategic priorities for the period between 2019 and 2024, in the context of current challenges.
Dan Carbunaru, a journalist with an on-line platform, reviews the priorities outlined by Romania:
“The first issue is that of sustainable and equitable development through convergence, cohesion, innovation, digitization and connectivity, having continuity with the Estonian presidency, but also with the upcoming Bulgarian and Austrian presidencies. The other issue is safety in Europe, which every citizen wants, and also consolidating the global role of the EU, appreciated mostly in the north and west of Europe, so it is probably a compromise, and a consequence of Romania's wish to engage on the international stage from the position of an EU member, because it is an advantage you can capitalize on. Last but not least, the Europe of common values, it sounds very general, but considering that the violation of basic values, especially in terms of rule of law and justice, will incur sanctions after the next multi-annual financial framework, is not necessarily just a slogan. The commitment that Romania makes in leading the EU Council in these six months is related to cohesion.”
Once it takes over the rotating presidency of the EU Council, Romania will have to deal with heavy issues, such as the Brexit. It will also have to deal with the negotiations around the multi-annual financial framework, a tough mission, needing 27 votes for an algorithm to balance investments to enhance cohesion and reduce differences between east and west.
Here is PM Viorica Dancila: “Romania, during its term at the presidency of the EU Council, will give priority to the negotiations on the multi-annual financial framework for the 2021-2027 time frame. In terms of EU internal security, the aim of consolidating security in Europe will represent one of the pillars by which we will define our priorities during Romania's term.”
The election for the European Parliament in May is another major issue in Romania's upcoming term. At the same time, it has to deal with dozens of legislative cases essential for the future of the Union, some of them ongoing, some of them finalized. Hundreds of negotiations, meetings, and debates will have to be held. At the same time, during Romania's presidency, member states will submit plans in the area of energy and climate change, on whose basis the Union will harmonize its energy strategy, crucial for the future of the EU.
Victor Negrescu, Delegate Minister for European Affairs, told us about the difficulties to be expected: “This autumn is going to be intense with regard to European cooperation, with the official agenda including lots of visits, as the interest in Romania and its upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU is growing. This is a good thing, which also proves that Romania is able to come up with a vision and with good ideas.”
Basically, what matter is for Romania to help the EU develop all along these directions, and not only. Romania supports the ambitious agenda of the European project. Our vision is deeply pro-European. The solution depends on us. What is important is to have this positive energy, the desire to better ourselves and identify the best solutions. And, according to officials in Bucharest, the most important thing for Romania during its term as president of the EU Council is to lay the foundation for future developments.
Daniel Gosa, General Manager of the unit for preparing presidency, has stated that, as regards the estimated final budget, the allocated amount is comparable to those that countries of similar economic power have opted for. Therefore, the amount will stand at 60 to 80 million Euros.