On May 9, Sibiu Municipality will host the summit of the European Union, to which 28 Heads of State or Government, representing each of the Member States, are expected. Several presidents, prime ministers and chancellors will be in the city, along with the leadership of the European Parliament and the European Commission.
The preparations stared more than one year ago, and the security measures taken are unprecedented. In addition to actions that no one publicly speaks about, streets and parking places were closed, the road traffic was restricted on dozens of streets, and on the day of the summit, not even pedestrian traffic will be allowed in downtown Sibiu. All the accommodation units in the city and in its surroundings are occupied by the participants to the event, while the main political leaders are accommodated to the only five-star hotel in the city. Two politicians will come to Sibiu with their pets, which have their separate rooms booked at the hotel.
The Sibiu Mayoralty announced that on the Sunday to Monday night, the works for arranging the travel lane of the delegations participating in the Summit between the Sibiu International Airport and the Unirii Square have been started.
“The works will be carried out during the night, as much as possible, in order not to affect the road traffic during the day. This lane will be arranged by delimiting two of the four available traffic lanes, with the help of plastic parapets. Until May 9, the participants in the road traffic can use all the four lanes, including this lane; the traffic restrictions will be applied only on May 9, between 6.00 and 20.00”, stated the representatives of the Sibiu Mayoralty.
According to them, on May 9, the road traffic will not be closed on the traveling rout of the delegations, but people in Sibiu are asked, if possible and depending on the travelling direction, to choose detours in order to avoid traffic jams.
“Participants in the road traffic are asked to travel with increased attention, respecting the temporary signaling and the instructions of the police officers in the area. We thank you for your understanding in order for this event of the highest level to be properly hosted by our city”, was also the message of the representatives of the Sibiu Mayoralty.
Since May 4, the Sibiu Mayoralty opened a non-stop call center and created a section on its own website, where people can find all the information on the closed streets and parking places, as well as on the deflected routes of the public transport.
Video surveillance system which worth over RON 12 million
For the security of the participants in the Summit, the Protection and Guard Service, the Romanian Intelligence Service, the Special Telecommunications Service and the Sibiu County Police Inspectorate decided that a video surveillance system is required to be installed. Sibiu Mayoralty started the procedure and the fund were allocated from the state budget.
The agreement was signed on March 4, 2019 with the Rasirom Bucuresti Autonomous Administration, for a value of RON 12.17, without VAT. The project involved the installation of video surveillance cameras in the main public areas of the city and on the most important streets, as well as other related equipment. The officials didn’t publish the information related to the number of purchased surveillance cameras, their locations, or the command center, since it is classified.
In fact, very little information was revealed regarding the measures taken for the security of the participants in the summit. The event is organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while the security measures are taken by a system integrated by the Inter-ministerial Committee for Security “ROMANIA – EU 2019”, consisting of the Ministry of National Defense (MApN), Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI), Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), Special Telecommunications Service (STS), Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) and Protection and Guard Service (SPP).
Starting from Monday at 17.00, the MApN, MAI, SRI, STS, SIE şi SPP crews ensuring the security of the Heads of State or Government and the European officials, will be gradually installed.
“The decision was made in order for the day-to-day activities to be carried out normally. The measures were designed in such a manner that they allow maintaining a normal security climate, which is necessary for the importance and scale of such an event”, stated the Inter-ministerial Committee for Security “ROMANIA-EU 2019” in a press release.
Also due to the summit, pupils and students in Sibiu are on holiday this week, too, all the educational units being closed.
Five-star hotel for European leaders
The political leaders who will take part in the summit will stay at the only five-star hotel in the city of Sibiu, located in Dumbrava Forest.
The entire hotel has been booked for the event, and the rooms are thoroughly verified by the SPP officials who are guarding them or handing them over to the security services of the leaders staying in each suite.
The hotel is not providing a lot of information to the public either, the building turning into a veritable fortress. According to some sources, two of the European leaders who will take part in the event will arrive in Sibiu with their pets. Two rooms have been booked for the dogs that the politicians will bring with them at the summit.
The same sources say that the presidential suite will most likely be used by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Aside from the European officials, 400 high-ranking guests and almost one thousand translators and journalists who will cover the event will also be present in Sibiu, on May 9. All the accommodation units in the city are fully booked.
Huge tents have been set up in downtown Sibiu. They will house the translator booths, press centres, conference halls, technical spaces and access control points.
Huge challenge for Sibiu authorities
Ensuring security at the summit was not the only aspect that entailed special measures. Local authorities paid special attention to ensuring medical assistance.
In the last year, the Sibiu County Hospital has carried out numerous investments and repairs at its emergency unit, while the Health Ministry allocated supplementary equipment and funds for the hospital.
Nevertheless, the high number of persons who might need medical attention during the summit has called for the setting up of three mobile hospitals in the city. Likewise, the hospitals in Targu Mures, Cluj and Bucharest will be on stand-by in case of medical emergencies.
Sibiu County Hospital Manager Cornel Benchea has pointed out that a medical airplane will be on permanent stand-by at the Sibiu Airport and will be able to fly to Germany any person who might require special medical care.
The need for medical personnel and ambulances will be covered with the help of neighbouring counties.
In fact, Sibiu will receive from neighbouring counties more than just medical personnel. Policemen, gendarmes, soldiers and firefighters will be deployed to Sibiu from other parts of the country during the summit. Public utility providers will have supplementary personnel on stand-by.
President Klaus Iohannis, the host of the event
The summit will be hosted by Klaus Iohannis, the President of Romania, the state that currently holds the presidency of the Council. European Council President Donald Tusk will preside the summit. Likewise, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani will also attend the summit.
EU leaders will discuss the EU’s upcoming strategic agenda for 2019-2024 and will exchange opinions on the EU’s challenges and priorities in the following years.
The current agenda was adopted by the European Council in June 2014, and it centres on five priority domains: jobs, economic growth and competitiveness; protecting and making citizens autonomous; energy and climate policies; freedom, security and justice; EU as a strong global actor.
The future of the European Union, especially in the context of Brexit, will be debated by the Heads of State and Government.
According to the preliminary schedule published by the Romanian Foreign Ministry, President Iohannis will welcome the guests on Thursday, from 11.45 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. The plenary session will take place after that. Subsequently, the Heads of State and Government will take part in a working dinner.
The official family photo will take place on a special podium set up in the city’s Main Square. The press conference is scheduled at 6 p.m., with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, European Council President Donald Tusk, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker set to take part in it.
The day will end with a reception and a concert in the Main Square.
“It will be a historic day for Sibiu, with our city set to be the Capital of Europe for a brief time. We want the people of Sibiu to approach this celebration as they like doing: through events in downtown Sibiu. The youth will put on a show on the stage set up in the Main Square starting at 8 p.m., and Delia, one of the most appreciated Romanian artists of the day, will animate and give colour to the end of a fantastic May 9,” Sibiu Mayor Astrid Fodor has stated.
Orban: PNL’s Executive Bureau to convene in Sibiu on Wednesday with EPP leaders and President Iohannis attending
The Executive Bureau of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) will be convening in Sibiu on Wednesday, the party’s chairman, Ludovic Orban, said on Monday.
“We have convened the PNL Executive Bureau for May 8 at 16:00hrs. It is an honour for this meeting of the PNL Executive Bureau, entirely dedicated to the debate of the European agenda for the next five years, to be also attended by European People’s Party (EPP) Chairman Joseph Daul and EPP Secretary General Antonio Lopez Isturiz White,” Orban said after a meeting on Monday of the PNL leadership.
Asked if President Klaus Iohannis will attend this meeting as well, he replied that he had sent the President invitations to some important events, and that it would be up to the president to decide whether or not to participate.
Orban also confirmed that Iohannis was invited to participate in the PNL electoral rallies that will be held this month in Iasi and Bucharest.
“We want him to be present and offer the opportunity for him to support the referendum he has launched and to send messages to all Romanian citizens about the need to participate in this referendum and the need to vote in favour of this referendum,” added Orban.
He said that PNL wants to stage a rally in Bucharest’s Piata Victoriei.
“It is the most appropriate venue. We have submitted a request to the Bucharest City Hall, in compliance with the law; we are expecting the special board that approves events to give us a reply,” said Orban, pointing out that it will certainly be a great rally. (Compiled from News.ro and Agerpres.ro)
Photo: Facebook/Klaus Iohannis