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September 20, 2019
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Minister-delegate Birchall on preparation for European Council presidency: Preceding gov’t procrastinated

The former  government delayed preparations for Romania taking over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019, and the incumbent government has now to mobilise itself to make up for the delays, Minister-delegate for European Affairs Ana Birchall said Friday.

“The government decision concerning the establishment of an interministerial council in charge with preparing and conducting Romania’s presidency of the Council of the European Union certifies our efforts over the past months to speed up the preparations so that Romania may take over and exercise the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019. Unfortunately, the preceding government procrastinated, and now we have to make up for the delays triggered by the preceding government,” Birchall is quoted as saying in a press statement released on Friday by Romania’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE).

She also said the preparations for Romania’s presidency of the European Council are entering the finish line also thanks to the decision of Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu to establish the interministerial council, a body tasked with designing guidelines and action priorities for the process .

“Romania has the required political vision and will as well as the administrative capacity to carry through this important responsibility, and it is able to successfully play the part of an impartial mediator expected from the member state holding the presidency. This is an opportunity for Romania that has to be capitalised on to a maximum,” added Birchall.

She added that as far as the European affairs are concerned, besides the current affairs on the European agenda, the Romanian Government attaches special importance to two objectives: preparing Romania’s presidency of the EU Council and managing Brexit.

“For both objective we have mobilised ourselves and started making up for the delays caused by the inaction of the preceding technocratic government: we have prioritised and created operational bodies that will assess and make decisions in real time so that Romania may be fully prepared to meet the challenges in the period immediately ahead,” said Birchall.

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