Minister delegate for European Affairs Victor Negrescu on Thursday considers unreal some people’s tendency to say that Romania might be lagging behind in terms of its preparation for exercising the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“Many times we have the tendency – I sadly confess it – to maintain that Romania lags behind. I have the pleasure to inform you that Romania is not trailing behind. For instance, with respect to the multi-annual financial Framework, Romania has a document which was sent, with all our viewpoints, to all member states. Romania has currently established the people in charge with thematic working groups that will deal with the multi-annual financial Framework. We are in the course of signing – and we hope the new Government will approve this – the general mandate for the negotiations that Romania will pursue in this regard,” he stated at the event launching the debates within the “EU-RO 2019″ Forum for public consultation, communication and debates in view of preparing and exercising Romania’s Presidency to the EU Council.
Our Presidency takes place at an important time, especially because, for the duration of our Presidency, we are talking about the completion of the current mandates of the European Commission and European Parliament, and we are also talking about the evolutions that occur with respect to the discussions on Europe’s future, discussions that we hope will be finalised and will generate a summit, the Summit in Sibiu, that will engender a constructive, 2024-oriented, strategic agenda. Additionally, throughout our Presidency, we will hold a discussion about the multi-annual financial Framework, an important discussion about the European budget. Romania will participate in this process – we don’t know the extent of its participation as yet. We most certainly wish that the completion of the talks occur during our Presidency. There are states, however, that do not want that, as they consider a lengthier discussion is needed,” the minister mentioned.
Negrescu further mentioned that Romania will promote a message for “more integration, more solidarity between member states.” He also expressed his standpoint according to which Romania’s main benefit following the exercising of this Presidency is “to show its treats this moment in a professional manner.”
“This is not about innovating, it is about acting in such a way that the Presidency be one subscribed to the logic of this Presidency. (…) Basically we need to gather round the table, to convince all the states, from the east and also from the west, the north and the south, maybe – following the dialogue that we moderate – a unitary, common point of view might ensue. Which, given the current context, is no easy thing,” he said.
The minister reminded that there is a Coordination Committee in European Affairs that has met weekly in the last seven months, carrying out a review of interest topics for Romania in the upcoming period.
“We are actually launching today the discussions about these interest topics. There have been approximately one hundred topics identified, so that we can prioritise them together, to check if they are the ones the society wants to embrace. Because we do not want to impose them. We do not believe this is a minister’s, a ministry’s or a government’s mission, to impose the themes we must promote at European level. They must be the result of a discussion,” he further said.
The minister also announced that a group of experts involved in managing the Presidency have been identified, but also that in the coming period, experts will be recruited, through contest, by each institution. Moreover, training programmes for civil servants, and also dignitaries have been launched, meant to increase potential in the European affairs domain.