In the first six months of 2019 Romania will for the first time assume the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The time ahead will be doted by some extremely important events with a long lasting impact on the future course of the European construction: Brexit, on March 29, elections for the European Parliament in May and an European Summit in Sibiu that will decide upon the future course of the Union in the new setting.
The priorities of this presidency, as announced by the Romanian Government, are topped by a concern for building a more coherent Europe, by way of reducing the developmental gaps between regions, consolidating the single market and promoting labour mobility with due regard for the convergence of social rights.
The safety of EU citizens also lies at the heart of the Romanian Presidency, a topic which will be tackled both internally, by way of combating terrorism and radicalisation, but also externally, by paying more attention to the political and social evolution at the borders of the Union. Cybersecurity will also receive a lot of attention, given the current increasing threads related to this field.
Closely linked to safety issues, the Romanian presidency aims at consolidating the role of Europe on the world stage, at both the economic and military level. The continuation of the enlargement policies in the Western Balkans and the rethinking of the Eastern Partnership are most important aspects that fall under this topic.
Last but not least, Romania puts at the core of its presidency the debate on common European values: democracy, freedom, human rights and respect for human dignity.
The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU will officially start on January 10, with a ceremony hosted by the Romanian Atheneum, in Bucharest.