Analytics, EU – Baltic States, Modern EU

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 16.06.2019, 10:00

Supporting shared European values: facing Rumanian Presidency in the Council

Eugene Eteris, European Studies Faculty, RSU, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 03.01.2019.Print version
On 1 January 2019, twelve years after its accession to the EU in 2007, Romania assumed the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union (popularly called the Council of Ministers, or the Council). It’s the country’s first ever Presidency, which makes it both complicated and challenging. The main aspect of Romanian Presidency is reflected in its motto: “Cohesion, a shared European value”.

The Presidency comes at a challenging and key moment for the European future. With Brexit taking place at the end of March, European Parliament elections in May and discussions on key legislative initiatives in the next multi-annual financial framework, to name a few, the Romanian Presidency’s work agenda is really complicated and full of urgent issues.  


A key milestone for the Presidency will be the informal Summit in Sibiu on 9 May, when EU leaders will discuss a new strategic agenda for 2019-2024.


Throughout the Presidency, the Romanian government will ensure the necessary coordination and political drive in the Council and aim to further advance the economic, social and territorial convergence, in line with the presidency motto “cohesion, a shared European value”.

Presidency’s agenda

The Romanian presidency programme is based on four pillars, placing European citizens’ interests and aspirations at the centre of its action:

- Firstly, convergence and growth, focusing on cohesion policy, competition and connectivity.

- Secondly, security in Europe, including protection of borders, the reform of Schengen and the future of the area of freedom, security and justice Romania is not a Schengen member).

- Thirdly, making Europe a stronger global actor with a particular emphasis on the reinforcement of Western Balkans’ cooperation and the Eastern Partnership.

- Finally, a Europe of common values, emphasising solidarity, equal opportunities and respect for human dignity.


In all of this, the Romanian Presidency will seek to put the citizens at the centre of the programme, in order to focus on policies that improve people’s lives.


Preparations for the Presidency started already in November 2018: the European Policy Center arranged a policy briefing in Brussels together with the Romania’s Permanent Representation Office to the EU. At the initial briefing, Luminița Teodora Odobescu, Romania’s Permanent Representative to the EU, has set out the priorities of the Romanian Presidency.


The EU member states holding the rotating Presidency work together closely in groups of three, called “trios”; the system was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The trio sets long-term goals and prepares a common agenda determining the topics and major issues that will be addressed by the Council over an 18 month period. On the basis of this programme, each of the three countries prepares its own more detailed 6-month programme. The current trio is made up of the presidencies of the Romania, Finland and Croatia.


The General Secretariat of the Council is assisting the European Council and the Council of the EU in organising Council's work and ensuring the coherence of the implementation of its 18-month programme, i.e. assembling 3 rotating Presidencies.


The Baltic Course wishes the Romanian government and its people a successful implementation of the Presidency’s agenda and courageous inspiration to the Presidential team.  


Search site