The Informal meeting of directors general for European affairs took place on January 21-22, 2019, in the Palace of Parliament from Bucharest.
The meeting organised by the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU brought together directors general for European affairs form all the EU Member States as well as representatives of the General Secretariat of the Council, the European Commission and the Cabinet of the President of the Council of the EU. Upon the invitation of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the event was also attended by representatives of the EU candidate countries.
This kind of meeting is an occasion for directors general for European affairs to engage in an open exchange on the major developments in Europe and priority actions in the European Union.
Directors general took the opportunity of the informal meeting from Bucharest to discuss in depth about the priorities the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU included in its working programme. The participants expressed their support for the priorities of the Romanian Presidency, which are in line with the current European context, as well as for the advancement of the files holding a major interest in the future of the European project at the end of this institutional cycle.
The participants appreciated the special accent the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU placed on the principle of European cohesion, the very motto of its programme of priorities, and highlighted that it should guide Member States and the European institutions in their actions towards the successful management of the current challenges.
The participants expressed appreciation at the emphasis the Romanian Presidency laid on enlargement, an essential policy for the prosperity and stability of the whole European continent.
At the same time, the meeting was a good opportunity to highlight the expectations of the Member States regarding the way negotiations on the future Multiannual Financial Framework should be approached, the view exchanges pointing to the collective will to identify efficient ways to make progress in the discussions, the objective being to reach an agreement in 2019 in autumn. The participants also emphasised that it was important to have a budget that meets the current challenges and takes further the implementation of those policies that have promoted growth, one that should address the expectations and concerns of the European citizens and come with sensible benefits for them.
In their discussions on the future of the Union, directors general for European affairs underlined the multi-level added value of European action, an outcome of collective effort and commitment of all Member States and the European institutions. There emerged that it was necessary to keep building on those advancements to strengthen the citizens’ trust in the European project and focus European action on those fields that make the benefits of the European project more visible, such as strengthening the internal market and the four types of freedom of movement, economic growth or European security.