Senate’s Tariceanu: Romania must try to give dimension of our country’s caliber to Presidency of EU’s Council
Romania should assume the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) as member state with full rights and being the 7th largest state in the EU and, thereby, try to offer another dimension, according to our country’s caliber on the occasion of its tenure at the head of the EU’s Council, President of the Senate Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated on Wednesday at the debate called “Romania’s 2019 EU Council Presidency – Together to consolidate the European design,” which was organized by the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE).
“The prospect of Romania exercising for the first time since accession the Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first semester of 2019 represents a special challenge, but also an excellent occasion to prove Romania’s capacity to take important responsibilities belonging to the Union’s member states. […] The presidency that Romania will exercise, according to some people, I would say, it would mean Romania to act as a honest and neutral intermediary, honest broker, being in charge of putting in motion the Council’s negotiations regarding the EU legislation, ensuring continuity of the EU agenda, as well as ensuring the good cooperation between member states and European institutions. I believe that we should perhaps try a little more, take a good look at ourselves, let’s not forget about the fact that we are the 7th largest country in the EU, and accordingly, I believe that we should try to give our Presidency a dimension of our country’s caliber. Perhaps not to be too much and astound, but let’s not see ourselves smaller than we actually are,” Tariceanu added.
Tariceanu added that Romania will have the possibility to imprint its national vision over the strategic debates regarding the future of the European project, to directly contribute to its strengthening and promote on the European agenda some files which our country considers important.
Tariceanu underscored that Romania exercising the Presidency of the Council of the EU will be done on “a complex context, on the background of some large processes that are currently being carried out, which will shape the EU in its institutional expression forms, according to the interests of member states.”
“I believe that I must underline again that the future of the EU must find all its members on the same level of decisional importance, and the idea of an Europe with multiple speeds will have to fade away, at least in terms of public statements of the European decision-makers. The reflection over the future of the EU, political changes generated by the elections for the European Parliament in May 2019, competing the Exit structure of the redefining process regarding the EU-UK relationship, as well as the major files of which negotiation will be carried out including under Romania’s tenure, but also a post-2020 financial framework are just some of the major topics, whose management we need to be prepared for,” the President of the Senate stated.
PM Grindeanu: Romania has chance to bring new life to European project’s revival by exercising Council’s Presidency
Romania has the chance to bring new life, dynamism, that will contribute to the rebirth of the European project in the period of exercising its mandate as President of the Council of the European Union (EU), Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu stated in the message sent on the occasion of the conference called “Romania’s 2019 EU Council Presidency – Together to consolidate the European design,” organized by the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE).
“Romania will have the opportunity to prove that it will further remain a member state of the EU, in which the European project can enjoy a significant support and a state that is fully aware of the benefits that the membership to the Union brings. Romania will have the chance to bring within the Union, through its tenure that will exercise on the level of the Council of the EU, a new dynamic, fresh life, which will contribute to the rebirth and enthusiasm for the European project. In this way we will prove that Romania already is a mature and responsible state, capable to bring a valuable contribution in the current period which is full of challenges for the Union,” says Ana Birchall, who delivered the message.
Grindeanu added that Romania will be involved in its action as member state of the EU,” in a change of paradigm.”
“The Presidency of the Council of the EU means, first of all, the duty to promote the meetings that we will chair in Brussels. […] No doubt that the efforts that Romania must make will be doubled by many opportunities, which we aim to capitalize on. We will prove that we have the capacity, competence and necessary expertise in order to play a role of a leader in the EU, that we are not just a state which observes the acquis, but much more, that we are capable of a political vision over the future of the Union, just as our actions and priorities will prove that in difficult times we are lucid, we have the capacity to take action and be responsible. The first and the most important opportunity which derives from a successful presidency is increasing our capacity to influence the decisions adopted by the EU. We want to ensure a professional management and prove the capacity to propose compromise solutions that are acceptable for the Union’s member states and institutions,” the PM stated.
Grindeanu stated that Romania will have the opportunity to prove its support for the European values and to directly contribute to the process of strengthening the EU.
“In fact, it is the message that we want to convey in a unitary way, both in the dialogue with European institutions and meetings with the other states in the EU. The actions directly oriented towards the European citizen represent the strategic objective, which the process of Romania exercising the Presidency of the Council of the EU should gravitate around,” the PM stated.
Grindeanu also added that the files that should be managed during Romania’s tenure as President of the Council of the EU are one of major importance.
“I will give only two examples, the negotiation of post-2020 financial framework and Brexit. We will definitely have the obligation to handle other difficult topics, emergency or unpredictable situations, which any Presidency has to prepared for,” the PM also said.
ForMin Melescanu: Romania facing logistics, protocol problems in taking over Europea Council’s rotating presidency
Romania’s Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said Wednesday that Romania taking over the six-month rotating presidency of the European Council in first half of 2019 is a national project, pointing out that there are logistics as well as protocol problems in doing that.
“This is a national project and we, together with Parliament and the Government, have to understand that each and every one is involved in the project. This is a project that indeed provides us with an opportunity to be somehow visible on Europe’s map and for six months to be those facilitators that, starting from our national positions as well as the interests of the EU overall, find good solutions to the problems facing the EU,” Melescanu told a debate on Wednesday in Bucharest called “Romania’s 2019 European Council Presidency – Together to consolidate the European design.”
He argued that there are logistics problems with the takeover, saying that support from Romania’s Parliament, Government and Finance Ministry is needed in the process. He mentioned to the point the fact that Romania’s permanent representation to the EU in Brussels is housed in a building that will not cope with the requirements for the takeover of the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“We cannot continue on just the annual budget approved for this process and that provides means necessary for the start of preparations ensuring the presidency. (…) We cannot undertake financial obligations or make various acquisitions without first being certain there is annual budgeting throughout 2019, including the first part of the year, when Romania effectively becomes the president. (…) We are facing very serious logistics and protocol problems,” said Melescanu.
He went on to say that EU’s foreign affairs are one of the themes that could bring Romania up for discussion when taking over the rotating presidency. Melescanu added that Bucharest or other Romanian city could host a summit of the EU’s Eastern Partnership.
Other themes that could be brought to the fore by Romania could be continuing the EU’s enlargement; Black Sea security developments; latest developments in the Danube Strategy and migration strategy; assessing the EU’s security and defence policy .
Unfortunately, the old adage that the Black Sea is Romania’s good neighbour has not rung true lately; on the contrary. It is one of the areas where there is a very serious accumulation of arms and conflicts that can always lead to events that none of us wants,” said Melescanu.
He pointed out that the takeover of the presidency of the Council of the European Union is a national project in which all players have to get involved to secure its success.
“This will be a big opportunity for Romania to show up as is in a time of remarkable developments, a Romania that truly is a worthy EU member; our country projects for the presidency should be the ambition of integrating ourselves and being as close to the hard core of the EU as possible, which can only be achieved through cooperation in matters such as the Schengen Area, by entering the Euro-Zone, or by our involvement and participation in EU’s common security and defence policy,” added Melescanu.
Minister-delegate Birchall: Taking over Council of EU rotating presidency should be Romania’s moment
Minister-delegate for European Affairs Ana Birchall said Wednesday that taking over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019 is an opportunity for Romania, insisting that it is time for political disputes to be set aside.
“Taking over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union is a first for Romania, an opportunity to show Europe who we really are and what we can do for Europe. I believe Romania is a God-blessed country, with a special spiritual richness and unique customs that deserve being known in the entire Europe, and the takeover of the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU should be our moment,” Birchall told a debate on Wednesday in Bucharest called “Romania’s 2019 EU Council Presidency – Together to consolidate the European design,” hosted by the Parliament House.
She added that organising the presidency of the Council of the European Union is a challenge and an opportunity at the same time, while carrying out the presidency is Romania’s most important country project.
“I am certain that we will continue to be helped, enjoying the advice and support to my colleagues so that we may achieve this glorious objective of Romania’s, to turn this challenge into Romania’s big opportunity and achievement. I believe that after entering NATO and the EU, holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019 is Romania’s most important country project. Carrying out the presidency of the Council of the European Union provides a rare opportunity to Romania to increase its visibility and strengthen its role of a European and world player. It is time for us to set political disputes aside and understand that January 1, 2019 is an opportunity for Romania for which we must plan,” said Birchall.
Birchall mentioned that the Romanian Government has established a national board dealing with Romania preparing for and carrying out the presidency of the European Council, also adopting an action plan, while Romania’s Foreign Ministry (MAE) has a special unit devoted to the presidency of the Council of the European Union. She also said there is a calendar for public consultations this year and the next regarding the takeover of the rotating presidency.
Finland to support Romania, Croatia to ensure successful trio at EU Council presidency
Finland will support both the Romanian and the Croatian presidencies in order to secure a successful trio at the head of the Council of the European Union, the Finnish ambassador in Bucharest, Mrs. Paivi Pohjanheimo stated on Wednesday during the “Romanian Presidency at the EU Council 2019 – Together to consolidate the European design” conference, organized by the the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE).
“Finland will take office in July 2019. Our goal is to support both the presidency of Romania and of our successor, Croatia, so that our trio can be as successful as possible at the presidency of the Council. We will establish our goals and our targets and the way we will share the responsibilities,” the Finnish diplomat specified.
She underscored that during the rotating presidencies of Romania and Finland, the Council’s agenda for 2019 will focus on the topics of the post-2020 financial framework and the negotiations in this regard.
Mrs. Pohjanheimo also spoke on the Brexit theme which will have to be managed in 2019. Paivi Pohjanheimo added that joint solutions should be found at European level for the migration issue.
The diplomat additionally talked about the need to work with the foreign partners, such as Russia, in order to mediate regional conflicts. She also mentioned the importance of the EU-U.S. partnership, a strategic one based on shared values.
According to the Finnish official, another important component is the internal and external security of the Union and the European Union’s role as a security provider.
The diplomat pointed out that securing a presidency of the EU Council in a “transparent and balanced way, leaving aside national interests,” can have a very positive impact. In her opinion, a key element will be to ensure the continuity at the level of the presidency of the EU Council within the Romania – Finland – Croatia trio.