Speech by the Prime Minister of Romania at the Romanian Athenaeum, at the closing ceremony of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council
Distinguished representatives of the Romanian Parliament,
Dear members of the Government,
Distinguished representatives of the diplomatic corps,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is an extraordinary joy and great honour to have you with us at this event, where we mark Romania’s success in the exercise of its first mandate at the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
In this symbolic building of national culture and creativity, the Romanian Athenaeum, we gathered in January with the leaders of the EU institutions to launch our vision on the future of the European project.
Today, almost two weeks after the formal conclusion of our mandate, we can proudly say we have every reason to celebrate. We have achieved our goals, we have proven efficiency, performance and balance, we delivered one of the most appreciated Presidencies at the European level.
First and foremost, we demonstrated that Romania approached this mandate as a mission in the service of European citizens. We built all our actions around the concept of cohesion. We worked in this spirit and, qualitatively and quantitatively, we achieved important results for European citizens, we succeeded in maintaining unity in supporting the European project.
We strengthened the European Union’s social dimension, because a strong Europe is a Europe of prosperous citizens, whose equal rights are guaranteed and observed.
We placed cohesion at the core of our actions, because the success of the EU is the success of every Member State, of every region, of every community. A developed Europe secures equal opportunities and unrestricted access to resources for all.
We advocated for more solidarity in the European community, because in a Europe ready to successfully face changes, no one should be left behind.
We involved all partners in consultations and debates, because in a Europe that provides safety, the opinions of all are listened to.
We involved young people in decision-making, because a secure future is built on empowering youth.
We fought for an inclusive European Union, because a strong community means promoting unity in diversity and a place where hatred, discrimination and violence do not belong.
We brought back into the spotlight the fundamental social values of the European community, values which unite and hold together over 500 million citizens, because a strong Europe is one that strengthens its foundation.
We had many challenges: high-stake dossiers, the negotiation of the Multiannual Financial Framework and the Brexit process, a turning point for the European Union. Our fundamental principle, the red thread that constantly guided us in the approach and conclusion of the dossiers under debate, was cohesion.
The results of the Romanian Presidency at the Council of the European Union are impressive: 90 files / dossiers closed in the first 90 days of the mandate, 84 conclusions of the Council of the EU, numerous decisions on which we have facilitated consensus. All these achieved in about 2500 meetings.
These dossiers are quintessential for the European project; their results and impact directly influence the lives of European citizens in key areas: social, energy, economy and finance, digital, environment and climate change, agriculture, European values and freedoms, countering disinformation.
From the simplest to the most complex, these dossiers have implications in our daily lives and contribute to the progress/development of the European society.
I refer here to shaping the post-2020 EU budget, the functioning of the European Single Market and the competitiveness of European industry, bolstering the digitalisation of European industry and the development of Artificial Intelligence, strengthening social rights, consolidating the internal security agenda, continuing the fight against terrorism, managing the challenges of migration, defining the future of the EU.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union fulfilled the priorities laid down in its program, as well as its objectives – all dedicated to advancing the European agenda, in the spirit of the unitary, cohesive and inclusive approach we committed to at the beginning of our mandate.
We proved the maturity of European Romania and we delivered beyond expectations in a complicated European context.
Our Presidency results are opening up new opportunities for Romania. We now have a strengthened position at the European level. It is one of Romania’s major gains as a member of the European Union.
The Romanian Government acted with utmost diligence and full involvement. Together with our European partners and teams of experts, we succeeded in giving substance to the internal and European agenda.
We had a successful Presidency and it is not just us saying it! Our European partners appreciate our results and the pro-European, solid track record achieved by the Romanian Government, along with the team of diplomats, experts and professional negotiators.
Romanians can be proud; we rose to the challenge.
The effective manner in which we chaired the Council sessions proved that Romania has the capacity to fulfil in a credible, professional and dynamic way the most important responsibilities within the Union.
I am glad we succeeded in bringing the European project closer to the Romanian citizens and that we showed our partners the potential of European Romania.
This gala concert is dedicated to our joint effort and to the involvement of all those who worked for Romania’s mandate at the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
For your effort and dedication in these extremely intense months, I thank you all: Ministers, teams from ministries and all institutions involved, the team of the Permanent Representation of Romania to the European Union, members of the Romanian Parliament, our colleagues in the local administration, volunteers and everyone who stood by us.
I thank each and every member of this Presidency team for their dedication, competence and energy vested in the fulfilment of this veritable country project, the most important since our accession to the European Union.
We proved that the Romanian people strongly believe in the European values and in our common future; that Romania has the power, the resources and the people able to bring added value to the European project and to promote the rights of all European citizens.
We wrote an important page of Romania’s European history! We succeeded in this together, the European team of Romania alongside our European partners – and we proved, once again, that we are stronger together.
I thank you, all!