The National Stance Document regarding the priorities upheld by Romania’s Presidency at the Council of the European Union in 2019 will be greenlighted in September, at the latest, Minister delegate for European Affairs Victor Negrescu announced on Monday at Victoria Palace at the end of the meeting of the trio to the future Presidencies of the EU Council, Romania-Finland-Croatia.
“Three countries, for 18 months, have been working together to place on the EU’s agenda topics of interest for European citizens. (…) It has been an opportunity for us to establish a work format, to establish a methodology and to discuss in an initial phase about the possible priorities at our trio’s level. Today’s meeting proves that there is continuity in the act of preparing for the Presidency of the EU Council,” Negrescu told a press conference at the end of the meeting, alongside his counterparts from Finland and Croatia.
“Last year, we held three internal consultations at the public system level, consultations in which we also involved the Parliament, the Presidential Administration and colleagues in the European Parliament and members in the Regions’ Committee or the European Economic and Social Committee and obviously all political parties. We have at present a first draft. This first draft which contains four general ideas and 100 possible cases, is due to be put under public debate this very week so as to define the final list of priorities, together with the civil society, the trade union and the employers’ associations partners but also with those interested in this topic. (…) These priorities must not be imposed by a minister, they must be the result of a very open consultation. (…) In that respect, also this week, we are going to launch the site for the Presidency’s preparation that allows citizens, both within and outside the country, to participate in this process. (…) We have a national document which considers the national priorities, this document is due to be greenlighted by the main institutions involved in this process – Romania’s Government, the Presidential Administration and Romania’s Parliament and this will most likely occur at the end of the first year-half, if not, at the latest, in September,” the Minister affirmed.
Asked about the changes expected within the Executive and the possibility that after the new Gov’t formation he might not be part of the new team of ministers, Victor Negrescu specified that as regards Romania’s Presidency to the Council of the European Union it is all about continuity.
“The importance of this moment is well understood by everyone, all the actors and all the parties,” Negrescu maintained.
State Secretary for EU Affairs within Finland’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Kare Halonen stated in his turn that the talk was “fruitful” and will continue.
“For Finland, it is very important that both Romania and Croatia are well prepared for the Presidency and together will be able to pursue the important aspect on the European Union’s agenda. I am content that we could meet with acting prime minister, that we will also have a meeting with Parliament’s representatives and of course with representatives of the Presidential Administration,” the Finnish official declared.
In his turn, State Secretary for EU Affairs within the Republic of Croatia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Andreja Metelko-Zgombic pointed out the importance of the meeting at Victoria Palace.
“Croatia is a country which, together with Romania and Finland, appreciates and takes into account the priorities of the future Presidency and we believe this will be our chance to reaffirm our commitment to the European design and to improve it through our specific contribution. Today’s meeting has been extremely useful. We have agreed upon the timetable, the work methodology and we have reiterated the commitment to work closely together and we are looking forward to working together in the upcoming period,” the Croatian State Secretary said.
Acting PM Fifor: Romania thoroughly preparing for its first term at EU helm
Acting Prime Minister Mihai Fifor attended on Monday at the Victoria Palace of government the opening of the Bucharest meeting of the EU Presidential trio Romania will be part of alongside Finland and Croatia, in its first term at the EU helm starting January 1, 2019. In this context, Mihai Fifor expressed the government’s full commitment to preparing Romania’s efficiently exercising its mandate.
According to a government release, the acting PM conveyed to the three delegations – headed by Minister Delegate for European Affairs Victor Negrescu, Finnish Secretary of State, deputy minister for EU Kare Halonen, and Croatian Secretary of State for European Affairs Andreja Metelko-Zgombic – the Romanian government’s full commitment to preparing the country’s mandate in the first half of 2019 and cooperation with Finland and Croatia as part of the EU Presidency Trio.
“I assure you that Romania is seriously preparing for taking over its first presidential term with the EU Council and we will engage all the necessary resources to meet the pledged calendar and for an effective collaboration within the Presidency Trio,” Mihai Fifor said, as cited in the release.
The release also mentioned that at the end of the meeting where the parties agreed upon the calendar of the Romania – Finland – Croatia Trio and on the working methodology, Minister Delegate Victor Negrescu referred to the steps that have been taken so far by Romania towards the preparation of the joint program as part of the Trio with Finland and Croatia and of the national document with Romania’s priorities and agenda during its term at the Presidency of the EU Council.
In their turn, the Finnish and Croatian officials said the current stage of Romania’s preparation for the Presidency of the EU Council is very good.