On March 11, 2019, the minister delegate for European affairs, George Ciamba, chaired an informal meeting with the EU candidate countries on the margins on the informal meeting of the EU ministers and state secretaries for European affairs, held in Bucharest. The event was a good opportunity to spur the dialogue with the EU candidate countries (Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia and Albania), as well as to exchange opinions on the status of internal reforms and on the prospects of advancing the relationships with the European Union.
George Ciamba pointed out that Romania, as Council Presidency, expressed its support for maintaining the enlargement policy among the priorities of the European Union and underlined the success of that policy, as well as its added value to the EU on the whole. In this regard, he encouraged the candidate countries to remain engaged in their reform efforts, which play an essential role in the modernization and transformation of their societies and in the facilitation of positive developments within the enlargement policy, in line with the conclusions of the EU Council of June 2018.
The meeting included an overview of the reforms made by the candidate countries, in support of advancing the discussions in the EU. The Romanian Presidency will promote those points in the Council of the EU as well as in the dialogue with the European institutions, in the light of the future Enlargement Package that will be published by the European Commission by the end of May.
The participants in the event expressed their appreciation for the efforts that the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU made to advance the enlargement policy, by placing it among the priorities on the external agenda of the Presidency, through the events dedicated to the region and by inviting the candidate countries to attend peer-level meetings during its mandate. At the same time, the discussions focused on how to make the EU support for the candidate countries more efficient, in order to foster significant progress, to the benefit of the citizens.
The discussions with the representatives of the candidate countries also revealed their support to strengthening the European project, with a special accent being placed on how the enlargement policy can help achieve a stronger and more united Europe, one that is able to play a stronger role on the global scene.