Romania is taking up the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019, when a number of key issues are on the EU agenda: the debate on the Future of Europe, which will culminate in the Sibiu Summit, the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), Brexit and – last but by no means least – the 2019 European elections.
In addition, Romanian experts will have to finalise negotiations on dozens of legislative files that are currently being discussed by the European Parliament and the Council, in order to polish off all pending matters before the current mandate comes to an end. This will all have to be done in record time, as Parliament will enter into recess on 18 April.
The motto of the Romanian presidency is ''Cohesion, a common European value''.
The priorities of the Romanian Presidency, which were decided on after a broad public consultation, will be as follows:
- A Europe of convergence: growth, cohesion, competitiveness and connectivity
- A safer Europe
- Europe, a stronger global actor
- A Europe of common values.
The EESC will be contributing to the presidency's work and debates through a number of opinions. The presidency is particularly interested in civil society's views and input on the following topics:
- The future of the EU: delivering benefits to Europeans and upholding European values
- The contribution of social economy enterprises to a more cohesive and democratic Europe
- Tapping the potential of European philanthropy
- The benefits of educating people on the European Union
- The future of cohesion policy
- How macro-regions and transnational clusters help promote economic convergence and competitiveness
These topics confirm that Romania intends to place people at the heart of its presidency and, as a bridge between the EU institutions and civil society, the EESC certainly welcomes this move. (ad)