8.2 C
Bucharest
26 April 2019
General Affairs News

General Affairs Council – Romanian presidency priorities

The Council heard a presentation on the priorities of the Romanian presidency.
These are organised around four pillars:

  • Europe of convergence
  • A safer Europe
  • Europe as a stronger global actor
  • Europe of common values

“I am honoured to chair the General Affairs Council during Romania’s first ever Presidency of the Council. Our mandate will take place during a particularly dynamic semester marked by Brexit, negotiations on the next multiannual financial framework, the final stage of the reflection process on the future of Europe, and elections to the European Parliament. At this important time, we want to focus on building a stronger and more cohesive EU. We are determined to make our first Council Presidency a success.”

George Ciamba, Romanian Minister Delegate for European Affairs

Next multiannual financial framework

Ministers were informed about the organisation of discussions on the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027 in the coming months.

At their meeting on 13-14 December 2018, EU leaders welcomed the intensive preparatory work carried out during the Austrian presidency. They called on the Romanian presidency to develop an orientation for the next stage of the negotiations, with a view to achieving an agreement in the European Council in autumn 2019.

The presidency informed the Council that it intends to continue discussions at technical and political level with the aim of making substantive progress on both the structure and content of the next multiannual financial framework. At the same time intensive work will continue on the various sectoral proposals.

“Europe’s budget needs to reflect the sort of Europe we want in the future. We must ensure that the outcome of these negotiations is balanced and attuned to the daily needs and expectations of Europe’s citizens. We are determined to prepare the ground that is needed to ensure a timely agreement on the next multiannual financial framework.”

George Ciamba, Romanian Minister Delegate for European Affairs

EU action against disinformation

Ministers exchanged views on how to respond to disinformation, taking particular account of the forthcoming European elections. The discussion follows a number of recent initiatives on tackling disinformation, as well as calls from the European Council for the development of a coordinated response.

At their meeting on 13-14 December 2018, EU leaders called for the prompt and coordinated implementation of the Joint Action Plan against disinformation presented by the Commission and the High Representative on 5 December 2018. Ministers discussed which elements of the Action Plan should be addressed as a matter of priority, how to ensure coherence between the internal and external dimensions, and how to heighten public awareness of the issue.

“Disinformation has become one of the main challenges to our democracies. In order to be effective, joint efforts involving the EU, member states, online platforms and civil society are required. Action is particularly urgent ahead of the 2019 EP elections, but we also need to develop a more long term strategy, in full respect of fundamental rights.”

George Ciamba, Romanian Minister Delegate for European Affairs

Other itmes

The Council also reviewed the state of play on legislative files in view of the end of the legislative cycle.

During the informal lunch ministers discussed how to better communicate Europe to citizens.

 

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