The joint meeting of the Romanian Government and the College of Commissioners, which is traditionally organized by the member states before assuming the Presidency of the Council of the European Union took place in Brussels on December 5, 2018.
The main objective of the meeting was to present the major lines of the Programme of priorities in view of the Romanian presidency of the Council of the EU. At the same time, the meeting occasioned an exchange of opinions with the members of the College on the main European topics.
The Romanian Prime Minister assured the European Commissioners that Romania is fully prepared to take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on January 1, 2019, and reiterated our commitment and will for an efficient and pragmatic presidency. Prime Minister also voiced Romania’s willingness to contribute in a constructive manner to defining and promoting the common European interest, to ensure unity and cohesion among the member states, and to bring citizens closer to the European Union. Recalling the motto of the Romanian Presidency of the Council, “Cohesion – a shared European value”, Prime Minister Dăncilă pointed out once again that, during its tenure, Romania will promote a cohesion policy that responds to the increased need for economic, social and territorial convergence.
The Head of the Romanian Executive also highlighted the main challenges that the Romanian Presidency will have to manage, such as the UK exiting the EU, negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework, and migration. In this context, Prime Minister emphasized the importance of close cooperation with the European institutions, especially with the European Commission, in order to obtain results and secure a successful tenure.
Last but not least, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila voiced hope that the EU Summit to be held in Sibiu in May will confirm the general attachment to the idea of a united, consolidated and efficient Europe and will provide the main strategic guidelines for the future of the European Union. The Romanian Prime Minister also reconfirmed Romania’s interest in supporting the objectives of the EU external agenda, with an emphasis on advancing the European enlargement policy and securing greater consistency of the European Union action in its eastern neighborhood.
Discussions continued within two thematic panels: the first addressing economic, financial and social aspects, including the Multiannual Financial Framework, and the second, the topics of migration, security and foreign relations.
In the first panel, Minister of Public Finance Eugen Teodorovici and Minister-delegate for European Affairs George Ciamba addressed remarks on the multilateral financial framework negotiations, while Minister of European Funds Rovana Plumb spoke on the topic of economic and social convergence, and cohesion policy.
The Romanian side emphasized the importance of the Multiannual Financial Framework, priority dossier for our country and expressed its full availability to work for the advancement of this dossier.
On the part of the European Commission, presentations were delivered by the Vice –President of the Commission Vladis Dombrovskis and the European Commissioners Guenther Oettinger, Marianne Thyssen, Pierre Moscovici and Corina Creţu.
In the second panel, the Romanian side’s presentations were delivered by Interior Minister Carmen Daniela Dan on security and migration, and by Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu as regards Eastern Partnership, the Black Sea and the Western Balkans.
As regards the management of migration, the Romanian Minister of Internal Affairs reaffirmed Romania’s interest in continuing to work on shaping policies that respond to the existing challenges at European level. At the external level, the Romanian side emphasised an interest in supporting the objectives of the EU’s external agenda, with emphasis on the advancement of the European Enlargement Policy and ensuring greater consistency of the Union’s action in its eastern neighbourhood. In the same context, Romania’s interest in marking the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Eastern Partnership was also expressed
First Vice –President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, High Representative / Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini and European Commissioners Johannes Hahn, Dimitris Avramopoulos and Julian King addressed remarks on the part of the European Commission.
The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker appreciated the Romanian ministers’ speeches as very consistent and concluded that Romania is fully prepared to hold the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union.