Romania is ready to cope with any scenario in the case of Brexit, although it would have been preferable to have an agreement to ensure the protection of the rights of all citizens of the European Union, but also for a budgetary envelope the two major European policies, cohesion and the common agricultural policy, said Rovana Plumb, Minister of European Funds, at Antena 3 on Saturday.
“It is a future-oriented presidency because we are basically finalizing a strategic period at the EU level, 2014-2019, and we need to think about the future of the Union. It is, of course, ambitious and realistic. It is ambitious because we know that this presidency of the Council of the EU is taking place between two electoral cycles. We have a first challenge: the elections to the European Parliament, which will of course take place at the end of May, but Parliament is actually entering the electoral campaign at the end of April. And realistic because we have to take into account the main challenges at EU level, such as Brexit, for which Romania, as voted as presidency, is prepared to cope with any scenario. Of course it would have been preferable for an agreement on Brexit to exist, because it would not only ensure the protection of the rights of all EU citizens, including the Romanians living in the UK, but it would also be a security, a valve for the budget envelope for the two major European policies: cohesion and common agricultural policy,” Plumb said.
Regarding the legislative package on cohesion, the minister said we must “advance as quickly as possible”.
“I would not like to go into technical details, I only say that we are ready to enter into negotiations with the European Parliament, together with the European Commission on the Common Frame of Funding on European money. Practically, this Common Frame Regulation provides the basis for the legality and regulation of the way of absorbing the money of Europe,” mentioned the Minister of European Funds.
Rovana Plumb specified that Romania, as the EU Council presidency, is open to any dialogue on the connection between the rule of law and the efficient use of European funds, but there must be “a separate discussion of everything that means investment through politics cohesion policy”.
“As a presidency, we are open to any dialogue on the connection between the rule of law and the efficient use of EU funds, but there must be a separate discussion which means investment through cohesion policy, because we talk about citizens, local communities, we are not talking about abstract figures, we talk about people, their lives. The development always has an impact on every citizen’s life in terms of absorption,” the minister added.
We want to obtain partial general agreement in Council on Cohesion Policy legislative package
We want to obtain a partial general agreement in the Council on the Cohesion Policy legislative package so that it will be achieved by June this year, Minister of European Funds Rovana Plumb told Antena 3 TV station.
“As a Presidency, we want to obtain a partial general agreement on the Cohesion Policy legislative package. Why do we say partially? We want an agreement within the Council so that it will be done by the next General Affairs Council that will b1e held in June this year, and in the Presidency, the dialogue, the negotiations with the European Parliament, the European Commission, that trialogue to begin. We are ready to start negotiations with the European Parliament, start the trialogues on two fundamental elements of the legislative package on the general regulation framework. (…) We have had a very good cooperation with the Austrian Presidency and, of course, we are working with the following two Presidencies, Finland and Croatia, so that we will be able to advance and be ready for the next programming period,” explained Rovana Plumb.
She said that, as far as the Council Presidency is concerned, Romania is regarded as being professionally and politically well trained “to face all the challenges”.
Since 1 January 2019, Romania has been holding the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, a project of major importance for the entire society.
The holding of this mandate, a first for Romania, a country that joined the European Union on 1 January, 2007, will represent both an unprecedented challenge and equally an opportunity, according to the presidential website.