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9 December 2022

The symbolic takeover of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from the Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, Sebastian Kurz

Joint press statements by Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă and the Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria Sebastian Kurz

Viorica Dăncilă: Good afternoon. We are enjoying the presence of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz today in Bucharest. This is all the more important as it marks the handover of the Presidency of the Council of the EU from the Austrian Government to the Government of Romania, a symbolic handover, because, as you know, the Austrian Presidency ends on December 31, 2018. This is all the more important as the Estonia-Bulgaria-Austria trio will end, Austria being the last state of this trio, and starting January 1, the Romania-Finland-Croatia trio begins, and Romania is the first state of this trio. We discussed about the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, about the important dossiers on the European agenda, about the smooth transition from the Austrian Presidency to the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. I want to mention the fact that during the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Romania held the shadow presidency and the Ministers participated in the trio’s meetings on the important dossiers which are on the EU table. Of course, we addressed the main challenges existing at European level, we discussed about Brexit, a very important challenge which marked the Austrian Presidency and which will surely mark the rotating presidency that Romania will hold. We also discussed about the Multiannual Financial Framework, and despite divergent opinions on certain policies, certain aspects and I refer here to the common agricultural policy or the cohesion policy, a close cooperation between Romania and Austria is necessary. We also addressed topics related to migration, terrorism, topics which we know they await a response not only from Romania, not only from Austria, but a response folded on reality is expected from all EU Member States. I know that the opinions are divergent, I know we are very divided at European level. It is very difficult to find a solution for different situations in the Member States, but it is our duty to find this solution and to find the solution awaited by the European citizens. Each Minister of the Cabinet will take from his/her counterpart the dossiers that will remain during our presidency. I am glad that I talked with my counterpart about this today, and I am convinced that this cooperation will continue, and I told Mr. Chancellor that we want this cooperation also during the rotating presidency to be held by Romania. It is very important that we move from a protected Europe – the motto of the Austrian presidency- to a Europe in which cohesion is seen as a common value. We also need protection, protecting European citizens, but we also need a higher level of cohesion, a rapprochement in the development of regions, or between the eastern and western, southern and northern countries, between old and new EU Member States. We also approached the cooperation between Romania and Austria.

We want cooperation, a bilateral relationship, a better economic and trade relationship, we have proposed a sectoral cooperation between our Ministries. We have ministries cooperating very well. The Ministry of Public Finance has a very good cooperation with its counterpart in Austria. We also have other Ministers who have a very good cooperation, but there are also areas like IT or research where we need to make further efforts to improve cooperation between the two countries. Today, the presence of the Austrian Chancellor in Bucharest is an important moment, it is a moment that I can say marks the start of a very important period for Romania, the first time when Romania holds the rotating presidency of the EU. I want to congratulate the Chancellor for the Presidency, for the results they achieved, for the approach manner, for the manner of addressing the main challenges at European level, and I am convinced, as I have mentioned, in fact, that, given the level of training that the Romanian Government has, the way in which we treated the takeover of the Presidency will make Romania a successful Presidency. Once again, thank you Mr. Chancellor for the constructive dialogue, for the openness and the approach manner of the future cooperation, the development of the bilateral economic and trade relations between Romania and Austria.

Sebastian Kurz: Thank you, Prime Minister. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be your guest today here, on the occasion of the handover of the Presidency of the Council of the EU. This will happen on December 31, January 1 respectively, and we can formally do it now. During our Presidency, we have made special efforts. We have managed to organize a lot of trilogues, several topics have been addressed. We have managed to obtain compromises. It has been an intense cooperation and we had a successful Presidency. We wish the best to the Romanian Presidency, and we wish your presidency continues our work –I refer here to Brexit, UK’s exit from the European Union, the negotiations regarding the Multiannual Financial Framework, and we hope that the important topics too, the priorities initiated by Bulgaria and us, for instance, the emphasis put on Western Balkans, will be continued. During our talks, we also have the possibility to discuss about our concerns regarding the rule of law and the approach of international investors. There are close partnerships at several levels between Austria and Romania. Thank you for today’s exchange of opinions and I would be glad that this bilateral cooperation continue, especially if we can work for our common interest, the interest of the European Union. I wish you great success in your presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Also, President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, met on Friday, December 21, 2018, at Cotroceni Palace, with Sebastian Kurz, Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria.

Photo: Romanian Government, Fotoservice des Bundeskanzleramtes 

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