President Klaus Iohannis announced in Brussels on Thursday that he agreed with European Council President Donald Tusk to have an informal meeting on Europe Day – 9 May 2019 – in Sibiu.
“Today and tomorrow we have the meeting of the European Council with a full agenda and I would mention a few topics that are very important to us in Romania. The European Council President, Mr Tusk, will present the ‘leaders agenda’ – the agenda of the heads of state and government, an agenda which shows when and on what topics we’ll meet until 2019, included, to make the Union more performing, better. We are very much interested in this matter, because in the first part of 2019 we’ll be holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and we’ll certainly get involved to have very good results. I agreed with Mr Tusk to have an informal meeting on 9 May, Europe Day 2019, in Romania, more precisely a meeting that will take place in Sibiu and that will be the last meeting where we’ll be probably drawing certain conclusions in respect to the Union’s future, the strategic agenda, as we call it,” the President said in the beginning of the meeting in Brussels.
Iohannis didn’t mention whether the EU Summit of Sibiu of 2019 will take place on the same date, only reiterating that this event is an opportunity for Romania. “If we can celebrate Europe Day with a summit in Romania, I believe this is extraordinarily good,” the President showed.
Klaus Iohannis underscored that the second very important matter that will be discussed in Brussels refers to the assessment of the results of the Brexit negotiations, where “at least so far, there aren’t any encouraging news.”
“Concretely, I don’t believe that at this meeting we’ll be able to say that we can enter stage two. However, what interests us the most – the rights of the European citizens in the UK, therefore those of Romanians living there too – are a topic that seems to be dealt with openness by both sides,” the Romanian head of state added.
In respect to Turkey, Iohannis brought to mind that this country’s status as EU hopeful has been under discussion for a long time.
“Besides this, through quite complicated negotiations we have reached an understanding with Turkey in respect to migration. Agreements with Turkey must continue, Turkey is an important partner both for the European Union and for Romania and we must find the best modalities to continue this procedure,” the President underscored.
Before participating in the European Council meeting, the head of state attended the European People’s Party (EPP) Summit. “The discussions at the EPP are in preparation of the Council meeting. There were preliminary talks on the matters that we’ll have on the agenda of this meeting of the Council, through which, besides the two, migration, we also have other topics that will be discussed, particularly today within both the formal and the informal session,” the President said, when asked what he discussed with the EPP members.
On Thursday, the Romanian Head of State’s agenda also included meetings with European People’s Party President Joseph Daul (photo), European People’s Party Secretary General Antonio Lopez-Isturiz.
On the other hand, Iohannis mentioned the permanent lobby on relocating agencies to Romania. “Now it is known that we only applied for the Medicines Agency and we want to host it in Bucharest. The conditions are good, the offer is a solid one,” Iohannis added.
President Klaus Iohannis participates Thursday and Friday in the European Council meeting, which will discuss mainly topics concerning migration, the Union digital agenda, security and defence, the relations between the EU and Turkey and the North Korean file.
According to a Presidential Administration release, the European Council meeting will also approach EU’s future, with the leaders’ agenda up for discussion in this context, a document proposed by the Council’s President, detailing the calendar and topics that would be discussed by the European leaders until the end of the first semester if 2019.
Furthermore, there will also be a session in a EU27 format, devoted to discussions referring to the UK leaving the EU, aimed at assessing the progress made so far in the negotiation process.
The Romanian head of state will underscore in regards to migration the importance of monitoring the migration flows on the Eastern Mediterranean route, for a better management thereof. At the same time, Iohannis will highlight that implementing the EU -Turkey Statement must remain a priority for the Union.
In the talks on the digital agenda, Iohannis will support the need for the Single Digital Market to become fully operational as soon as possible. Moreover, the Romanian President will underscore that cyber-security is a determining element for the well functioning of this market.
As far as the European defence policy is concerned, the head of state will inform the European Council members on Romania’s decision to participate in the process of permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) right from the launch of this process, scheduled for this December.
President Klaus Iohannis will highlight the importance of the relation between the European Union and Turkey, the Turkish state being a strategic partner of the EU and a NATO ally, with a relevant role in the Black Sea area.