Embassy News

Presenting the results of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

On July 12, 2019, at the House of Europe in Tirana, the Embassy of Romania, with the support of the European Union Delegation, organized an event to present the achievements obtained during our country's Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which took place from January 1 to June 30, 2019.

In his opening remarks, the Head of the EU Delegation to Tirana, Ambassador Luigi Soreca, underlined to success of of the Romanian Presidency, saying: "We are here to celebrate the end of the Romanian presidency at the Council of the European Union, which was a successful one." The EU Ambassador praised in particular the impressive number of legislative initiatives adopted during the Romanian Presidency listing a dozen of them as the most important ones. He also referred to the difficult political context, including the one related to the Brexit during the Presidency, which solved a number of important issues: "The Romanian Presidency delivered," was the closing remark of Ambassador Soreca, who then informed that Finland is the Member State that took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union from Romania.

In his turn, the Ambassador of Romania, ES Mircea Perpelea, pointed out that Romania's mandate was a complex one, an ambitious project with a unique character given its novelty, but also by its challenges, which will most likely prove unrepeatable after 13 or 14 years, this being a cyclic mandate by its specificity.

The Romanian Presidency had achieved steady progress on all four pillars of action defined at the beginning of its mandate under the motto “Cohesion, a common European value”': (1) Europe of convergence, (2) A safer Europe, (3) Europe, a stronger global actor and (4) Europe of common values.

"The quantifiable dimension, which includes the remarkable results achieved in the first 100 days of our mandate, includes the completion of 90 legislative files, more than 1,700 events organized in Romania during the six months of the mandate, acquiring a qualified majority for the advancement of sensitive, stagnant projects, the preparation of the European Union for any kind of outcome of the Brexit process, or achieving a firm commitment for the European path of the Western Balkans - is visible and appreciated across Europe."

The Ambassador noted that a key moment of this semester was the Sibiu Summit, which took place on the 9th of May and sent a message of unity within the European Union and of strong commitment for joint action in the future.

In the same time, Ambassador Mircea Perpelea said that Romania embarked upon its EU stewardship's journey with a pledge, to act as a genuine impartial mediator to generate solutions meant to advance the European agenda.

"Today, I can assure you, endorsed by all our European Union partners in dialogue, that we have kept our promise. Many of our Presidency's very good results are primarily due to our ability to keep our reserve of neutrality. With the determination and enthusiasm given by the first mandate as Presidency, we were able to deliver on all of our priorities. We managed to keep the Western Balkans, including Albania, high on the agenda, we delivered on EU-Turkey relations, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, the Black Sea region, the security agenda (EUGS and CSDP), as well as a consistent input on the multilateral vocation of the EU."

Particular attention was devoted to EU's action in the Western Balkans during the Romanian Presidency. "Despite a complex political context, we have managed to maintain the needed conditions to pursue the enlargement agenda, by keeping our partners engaged and our discussions energized. We hosted numerous meetings with candidate countries, including the Western Balkans lunch in the margins of the Gymnich meeting in Bucharest. This favored both the guarantee of the attention we devote to the region, as well as an informal exchange of views, all the more so needed in order to give an impetus to the region." Mr. Perpelea referred to the June GAC conclusions, adopted under Romania’s Presidency, which remained in the spirit of the engagement already assumed last year by the EU MS.

Regarding Albania, in his presentation, Ambassador Perpelea specifically highlighted Romania's constant effort to support and encourage Albania's efforts to open accession negotiations.During our mandate as the Council’s Presidency, Romania has taken constant steps to send out a positive message about Albania’s preparations for opening negotiations on EU accession. Starting from the assessments and recommendations within the European Commission’s Enlargement Package, published on May 29, 2019, Romania has made sustained efforts in the dialogue with both the member states and with the partners in the region and, based on a complex negotiation process, there was success in maintaining the positive momentum and the dynamics of the enlargement process, as the Romanian Presidency managed to adopt an ambitious phrasing and a timeline for a clear and substantial decision on this matter, as soon as possible, but no later than October 2019.”

On account of this perception, we encouraged a reflection on how to prioritize regional cooperation in South-East Europe, notably on how the EU engaged with various regional initiatives and structures.”

Moreover, for the first time, Romania organized in Sarajevo, in March, a regional workshop gathering Western Balkans directors from the EU member states, representatives of the EEAS and of the European Commission, as well as directors from the South-East European Cooperation Process participating states. “We aimed to bring to the attention of the EU and to the region a conceptual change in regional cooperation, based on more efficient use of the available regional cooperation mechanisms.”

In addition, the Ambassador of Romania brought to the attention of the participants Romania's stimulating civic engagement of the young people in the Western Balkans, one of the major interests of our country, including through the organization of a Conference in Bucharest on this topic in May, which was a highlight of the Presidency. Our initiative provided a positive environment to inspire creative ways that empower young people in finding/improving their professional prospects in their own countries. The discussions enabled the transfer of best practices and sharing of expertise among young professionals in the process of economic reforms, democratization and civic participation.”

Concluding, the Ambassador of Romania expressed his belief that Romania has strengthened its profile in Europe, becoming a stronger, more credible, and more relevant voice. “I firmly believe that this road will continue after the Presidency, because we have the institutional and political maturity required to successfully carry out any other major national project.” 

The end of the event was marked by the ceremony of conferring by the Romanian Ambassador of the symbol of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, followed by a short video showcasing the main events that took place in Brussels, Bucharest, Sibiu and Tirana. Local government officials, representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations accredited in Tirana, journalists and other were present.

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