On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the minister for European affairs, George Ciamba, will chair the two meetings of the General Affairs Council (GAC), out of which one will be devoted to Article 50.
The items on the agenda will include topical issues such as Brexit, the Multiannual Financial Framework, as well as the Spring European Council (March 21-22, 2019).
The first meeting of the General Affairs Council will focus on the Multiannual Financial Framework, one of the priorities of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. In fact, this item will be included on the agenda of every General Affairs Council (GAC) during the Romanian Presidency, in order to provide the European Council of June 2019 with a sound and balanced negotiation document and to facilitate a political agreement on it in autumn 2019. In that context, the debates will step up the negotiations on the sector-specific proposals related to the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, with special accent laid on the support given to candidate countries through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III).
Another important item on the agenda will be the last preparations for the European Council of March 21-22, 2019. In their discussions, the European leaders will mainly focus on issues such as employment, growth and competitiveness, climate change, the future Strategic Agenda, as well as the preparations for the EU-China Summit of April 9, 2019, the fight against disinformation and safeguarding the integrity of national and European elections. The discussions will also touch on the implementation of the conclusions of the previous European Councils, the report on Council contributions to the European Semester, as well as an updated roadmap on the European Semester.
The meeting of the General Affairs Council on Article 50 will be devoted to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Should there be a hard Brexit, the Romanian Presidency is constantly concerned with the implementation of the necessary measures across the Member States.
The debates will also cover additional preparation measures aiming at generating effects across the (EU27) Member States – alongside those that have already been adopted – in order to mitigate the potential negative consequences in fields such as: coordination of the social security systems; financial services; aviation safety; air and land transport; railway transport; customs-related issues; sanitary and phyto-sanitary requirements; the transfer of personal data; and EU climate change policies. In the light of the latest developments in the UK, the risk of a no-deal UK withdrawal from the EU is getting higher and higher. The main priority of the Romanian Government throughout the Brexit process has been and will remain both the protection of the Romanian citizens living in the UK and the protection of the British citizens living in Romania.