In the framework of the bilateral consultations on European issues, George Ciamba had a bilateral meeting with Sabine Thillaye, Chair of the Committee for European Affairs of the French National Assembly. The discussions focused on issues of significance from the European agenda, with accent laid on the developments related to the future Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, Brexit and the upcoming European elections.
The Romanian minister emphasised the importance of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 for the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU and pointed out that, in the first part of its mandate, the Council Presidency had channelled its efforts towards advancing the negotiations on the sector-specific rules of the future budget. He highlighted that the objective of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU was to obtain the highest possible number of partial political agreements with the current European legislature. In that connection, the minister referred to the 10 important sectorial proposals in which a joint agreement was reached with the European Parliament, including the European Defence Fund, the Digital Europe Programme for 2021-2027, the Connecting Europe Facility, the Space Programme, the Justice Programme, the Rights and Values Programme, the LIFE Programme and the InvestEU Programme.
The Romanian official also pointed out that the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU would continue the negotiations on the horizontal aspects of the future Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, in preparation of the debates to be held by the European leaders at the European Council of June. George Ciamba thanked his French interlocutor for the constructive way in which France had approached the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework, as well as for the support it had given to preserving the investment policies in the future budget.
In their dialogue on that topic, the Romanian official and the French one shared the same vision on the post-2020 developments, which should lead to a more integrated and more consistent Union, in order to tackle the social and economic inequalities among Member States. The two interlocutors thus considered that it was essential to ensure an adequate allocation between the first and the second pillars of the Common Agricultural Policy, as well as greater transparency, accessibility and efficacy for the direct beneficiaries of that policy.
The bilateral discussions on European issues were furthered in the meeting between Minister George Ciamba and the Secretary General for European Affairs Sandrine Gaudin, which took place on April 30, 2019.
The meeting was an opportunity for the Romanian minister to briefly review the developments related to the European agenda and point out the prospects of dynamising the aspects bearing on the Multiannual Financial Framework. Moreover, the Romanian minister reiterated his positions on that issue, which he had also expressed in his meeting with the representative of the French Parliament, and highlighted the significant aspects related to the two key policies of the Union, namely the common agricultural policy and the cohesion policy.
Another important issue approached in the dialogue with the French interlocutor was the Brexit process. In that connection, the minister delegate appreciated that the best way to make progress remained the ratification of the withdrawal agreement, the only instrument that could possibly limit the negative Brexit outcomes and safeguard legal certainty for citizens and companies. The minister underlined that the agreement was a necessary step in order to build trust between the parties. He reiterated that the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU considered it very important for all the Member States of the European Union to have a coordinated and consistent approach, in order to speak with one voice in response to the developments in that process.
In that connection, the two officials approached the future of the European Union. The minister delegate pointed out that the reflection on the future of the Union would mark a peak with the Informal Summit of the Heads of State or Government of the European Union, to be held in Sibiu, on May 9. The event is an opportunity to convey a message about the significance of a European action based on the principles of unity and cohesion, on practical priorities and on the continuation of the policies that have yielded undeniable results. In that connection, the minister pointed to the importance and relevance of continuing the EU enlargement policy, considering the capacity of that policy to generate growth, political stability, as well as economic and social development both for the Union and the Member States and for the candidate and potentially candidate countries.
Minister George Ciamba also visited The Jean Monnet House, home of one of the founding fathers of the European Community. The Romanian official wrote a message in the honorary visitors’ book of the memorial museum.