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February 9, 2023

President Iohannis attends the European Council meeting in Brussels; defence, security, migration, Brexit on the agenda

President Klaus Iohannis will participate on Thursday and Friday in the meeting of the European Council, which is to take place in Brussels, a release of the Presidential Administration issued on Thursday informs.

According to the quoted source, the meeting agenda includes topics regarding the defence and security area, the social dimension of the European Union, education and culture, the EU policy in the migration area. Furthermore, discussions are to be carried out regarding the process of the UK leaving the EU (Brexit).

On the sidelines of the European Council meeting, the head of state will attend the Euro+ Summit, which will also be attended by non-euro EU member states.

In respect to the security and defence area, the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) instrument will be formally launched within the meeting.

President Iohannis will reiterate Romania’s commitment to participate in actions aimed at making PESCO operational, underscoring that the implementation of this instrument should lead to a more efficient development of military capabilities, including avoiding duplicating with NATO, as well as increasing cohesion among EU member states.

Moreover, the head of state will endorse the deepening and enlarging of the EU-NATO cooperation, both by implementing the Warsaw Declaration and by adopting new measures in the area of military mobility and fighting terrorism.

In respect to the social dimension of the EU, President Iohannis will support its strengthening as a result of a shared effort of EU member states and will underscore the necessity of using all available instruments for acquiring a balance in the social area, pointing out that the mobility of workers is a basic element in this process, the release reveals.

In the education and culture area, the head of state will show that, through some specific initiatives, EU member states can cooperate more tightly in order to convey European values to youngsters and offer them the necessary tools to improve their linguistic and digital competence and make their access easier on the labour market. Furthermore, Iohannis will refer to the importance of developing cultural and creative industries, whose potential should be better capitalised on, especially in the context of digital developments.

According to the release, the EU leaders’ talks regarding the migration policy will focus on presenting the current stage of managing this phenomenon, the need to implement a financial instrument that is dedicated to stopping illegal migration and identifying some solution in respect to the reform of the Dublin system.

In this context, Romania’s President will further endorse the EU cooperation with foreign partners and third countries as key-factors in approaching the profound causes of migration. In respect to the financial instrument dedicated to stopping illegal migration, the head of state will highlight the necessity of a deep analysis in this regard on the EU level, especially given the negotiations for the Unions’ future multi-annual budget.

The Euro Summit in an extended format will occasion discussions of European leaders on the process of strengthening the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

Klaus Iohannis will point out the necessity to boost this process through an inclusive and consensual approach of the member states in implementing any initiative in this regard. Moreover, he will reiterate Romania’s commitment to access Eurozone, when all the requirements are achieved.

The European Council meeting, which will be held in an inclusive format of 27 member states (EU27), will also assess the stage of progresses recorded within negotiations recording Brexit, in order to determine if these are enough in all three specific areas: citizens’ rights, border with Ireland and financial expense account.

Heads of state and government of member states will decide whether or not to start the second phase of negotiation, the one regarding the future relations between the EU and the UK. The assessment will be based on the joint report agreed by the EU and the UK negotiators on 8 December and the European Commission recommendation on achieving sufficient progress in negotiations, the release also mentions.

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