EESC debate with Romanian presidency: time to reconnect people with Europe

The EESC's January plenary session hosted a debate with Romania's Prime Minister, Vasilica‑Viorica Dăncilă, on the priorities of the Romanian EU presidency for the first semester of 2019. EESC President Luca Jahier underlined how important it was, on the eve of the EU elections, to restore the trust of the European people in politics.

The EU integration process needs to be better understood, owned and supported by those who matter most, the people of Europe. "The Future of Europe will be discussed at the Sibiu Summit on a symbolic date: 9 May 2019, Europe Day. This is the last moment, before the elections, to show a united, strong Europe, that is close to all its citizens and is determined to take bold action for them", said Mr Jahier. "We need not only more effective EU policies, but also a new, positive narrative to reconnect citizens with the European project and restore their trust in politics, strengthening cohesion and countering populist tendencies," he added.

Ms Dăncilă expressed her determination to make significant progress on the most pressing issues the Union is facing with a view to bolstering unity, cohesion, solidarity and equity. She also reaffirmed the strong commitment of her country's EU presidency to European values and to listening to the voice of the European people about the direction the Union should follow. "This is a priority for the Romanian Presidency. We will put forward solutions and take decisions that are as close as possible to the citizens and the realities of our societies. Only by constantly involving citizens will we be able to keep Europe strong and cohesive," she said. Cohesion, a common European value is indeed the motto of the presidency. (mp)