Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
"Cohesion, a common European value"
In the first half of 2019, Romania will head the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), for the first time ever and exactly 12 years after the country joined the EU. Its mandate coincides with an intense period for the Union. Brexit, the European Parliament elections, negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021–2027 and the future of Europe are just some of the political dossiers Romania will need to manage during its mandate.
|Europe of Convergence||A safer Europe|
|Advancing negotiations on the next MFF 2021-2027|
Enhance the European Pillar of Social RightsPromote research and innovation, digitalization and connectivity
|Increasing interoperability of the EU security systems|
Fight against terrorism
Operationalization of the European Public Prosecutor's Office
EU migration and asylum policy
|Europe, a stronger global actor||Europe of common values|
|Strengthening EU's defense and security capabilities|
Further developments in the field of Common Security and Defense Policy, including new instruments such as the European Defense FundAdvancing the enlargement process
|Countering of online misinformation and fake newsPromoting and supporting the legislative initiatives focusing on social progress and reducing development gaps, equal opportunities between men and women, as well as ensuring access to education and training for disadvantaged categories|
What does this mean concretely and what can we expect in the next 6 months of the Romanian Presidency?
Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027
Negotiations on the next MFF is one of the major dossiers Romania will oversee at the helm of the Council. The initial aim was to reach a political agreement on MFF during the Romanian Presidency. However, this is unlikely, given the lack of consensus on multiple issues among the Member States. Therefore, Romania has set itself the objective of reaching a partial general agreement on the Cohesion policy by 25 June 2019. A final agreement on the next MFF is expected to be reached by autumn 2019.
Several other policy initiatives with impact on future local development are planned under the convergence pillar. A revision of the EU Strategy for the Danube region will be carried out in 2019, while the revision process for the Territorial Agenda of the EU will be launched under the Romanian Presidency of the Council.
The Romanian Presidency will pay a special attention to digital related topics. Europe's cybersecurity and resilience is at the forefront of these efforts. During the next 6 months, progress is expected on the Regulation on a European Cybersecurity Competence Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centers. Another outstanding dossier for which negotiations are ongoing is the Copyright Reform, which poses particular challenges given its complexity and the lack of consensus among responsible authorities. Other pending topics include finalizing discussions on the Directive on the re-use of public sector information, as well as the proposed Regulation on platform-to business relations.
In the field of healthcare, Romania will need to address pressing topics, such as antimicrobial resistance, vaccination, patient access to medicines, patient mobility in the EU and e-Health. One of the most sensitive issues is re-launching discussions on the proposal for a Regulation on health technology assessment, addressing, among others, the evaluation of newly introduced medicines.
Education and employment
Romania will put a special emphasis on digital transformation by focusing on cybersecurity, digital skills and education, innovation, women in tech and Artificial Intelligence. The implementation of the principles from the European Pillar of Social Rights is also very high on the agenda of the Presidency.
Romania will work towards finalizing several files, such as the Social Fairness Package and the establishment of the European Labour Authority. Furthermore, the Presidency will work on amending the Regulation on the Coordination of the Social Security Systems, will attempt to move forward with the Written Statement Directive and will try to finalize the discussion on the Work-Life Balance initiative.
In the education area, Romania will strive to secure an agreement on the Proposal for a Council Recommendation on the High-Quality System on Early Childhood Education and Care. It will also need to advance towards the adoption of the future Erasmus + programmeand guide.
During the Romanian Presidency, EU's efforts will continue towards implementing the Energy Union initiatives through legislative and infrastructural measures. On the legislative strand, efforts will be made to advance reforms proposed under the Clean Energy package and to continue negotiations on the Natural Gas Directive. Progress will also be sought for negotiations on the Connecting Europe Facility and forwarding the debate on the Strategic Long-Term Vision for a Climate Neutral Economy.
Romania is a part of the Presidency Trio with Finland (July-December 2019) and Croatia (January -June 2020). The main priorities for the Trio are to ensure a smooth transition to a new legislation cycle by finalizing outstanding files of the current Strategic Agenda and organizing work according to the priorities of the next Strategic Agenda, expected to be adopted at the June 2019 European Council. The Trio is also committed to finalizing the negotiation of the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027.