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Radio România Actualităţi

10 Ianuarie 2019
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Romania’s priorities at EU Council Presidency, announced live in exclusive interview for Radio Romania News Channel by Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă.

LIVE: RRA Exclusive Interview: Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă


  Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă. Photo: Agerpres.

Romania officially takes over, on Thursday, January 10, 2019, the six-month Presidency of the European Union Council, for the first time since 2007, when Romania became a European Union Member State. College of Commissioners, headed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, attends the official ceremonies and inaugural Concert in Bucharest.  Romania’s main priorities for its mandate at the EU Council Presidency have been announced live in an exclusive interview for Radio Romania News Channel (RRA), „Morning Call” („Apel Matinal”) Show, by this morning’s edition special guest - Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă:

RRA Producer Cătălin Cîrnu: This is a special day, with a lot of inaugural events in Bucharest that will also continue in the following period. Aside of the official visit of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the College of Commissioners on 10-11 January, Bucharest’s Parliament Palace will host a meeting of the EU Defense Political Directors, on 17-18 January, and there will also be an informal meeting of the EU Defense Ministers on 30 January, according to (official website of Romania’s EU Council Presidency). What are the great projects Romania has for its mandate at the Presidency of the Council of the European Union?

Viorica Dăncilă: As you said, this is the first time Romania holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and it is an atypical context, the legislative procedure will be shorter in the context of the upcoming elections for the European Parliament and the large number of files in line to be concluded or where we hope to reach a concrete progress creates a great pressure on Romania's Presidency of the Council of the European Union. There is political will on the part of the European institutions and certainly also on the part of the Member States to complete as many dossiers as possible by the end of this legislative cycle, because we must not forget that Romania is closing the 2014-2019 Strategic Agenda. A complex and very important dossier relevant to the continuity and future of European Union policies is certainly the EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), a dossier in which we intend to accelerate as much as possible in the spirit of the mandate of the European Council in the winter of 2018. Beyond the existing issues (on the EU Agenda, n.a.), we cannot exclude other problems that might appear, the so-called crisis situations, to which, of course, we will be asked to react. These situations challenge any Presidency of the Council of the European Union, be it new or old Member State. I hope we will have a professional, pragmatic performance and of course guided by consensus, regardless of the issue that might arise or be on the negotiating table that we will manage.

RRA Producer: Speaking of the EU Multiannual Financial Framework, which you have mentioned, that sets the limits for the annual general budgets of the European Union, do you think there will be a political agreement during this coming period?

Viorica Dăncilă: No, no. We have an ambitious yet realistic approach. I expressed hope that we take important steps, but we will not get a political agreement because there is a routing of views on this issue between Member States, and the EU Council of December 2018 made this point.

RRA Producer: There are many important milestones on the agenda, but from your point of view, which is the most difficult file of the next six months?

Viorica Dăncilă: Certainly the Multiannual Financial Framework, because the way we manage this dossier, the way we get an agreement on this framework, will be taken into account by other policies, whether we are talking about traditional policies - and I refer to the Common Agricultural Policy or to Cohesion Policy, whether we are talking about migration, asylum, foreign policy, everything that we will decide for the next period, and what will impact each Member State will depend on how we manage the MFF. Of course, we have other challenges that we will have to respond - I refer to Brexit, the future of the EU post-Brexit - very important dossiers, where we will have to reach a consensus among the Member States.

RRA Producer: And on Brexit, we have to think of the Romanians who are living and working in the UK, how can they be protected, for example?

Viorica Dăncilă: We respect Great Britain's decision to withdraw from the European Union, but we must also ensure that we limit the negative consequences of this withdrawal. The most effective instrument in this respect is the withdrawal agreement that has been politically approved by EU leaders and British Prime Minister Theresa May, which represents a fair and balanced compromise. The agreement will ensure legal certainty, both for the business environment and for the citizens, which guarantees preservation of the rights they enjoy today. EU's priority in these negotiations was to protect the rights of European citizens, including of course those of the Romanians living, working or studying in the UK. I believe that citizens must remain our priority in the coming period, and our goal must be that regardless of the scenario towards which negotiations will evolve, we have to minimize as much as possible the negative effects that could affect their lives.

We also need to support the efforts of the European Commission, of the EU’s Chief Negotiator on Brexit and of the other European Institutions to ensure the necessary institutional framework in any of the scenarios that may materialize in the coming period. I believe that maintaining the unity of the Member States around the principles established at the level of the European Union remains a major objective in this dossier and in this regard we will create the appropriate framework to facilitate the dialogue between the EU 27 Member States after Brexit on the way forward. Turning to the citizens, I want emphasize the special importance Romania attaches to the issue of mobility, particularly in terms of respecting the principles of reciprocity and non-discrimination between Member States.

RRA Producer: Please do.

Viorica Dăncilă: In this context, discussions on the future European Union - UK relations, Romania will support a more ambitious approach to future cooperation in this area, especially with regard to furthering application of the principles of coordination among social security systems. I am convinced that this would be both for the benefit of European citizens in the UK as well as for the British citizens in EU Member States.

RRA Producer: Obviously, we also think of the British citizens living and working in Romania. Talking about difficult dossiers - so many questions come to me now - but I would like to say two words about migration. Do you think a consensus can be reached at the level of EU Member States?

Viorica Dăncilă: Migration is an extremely difficult and controversial file with several dimensions and areas of action. This file has dominated the EU Agenda over the past few years and, at the same time it reflects one of the major concerns of European citizens. We are fully aware of the importance that the Member States and all European institutions attach to this issue, we are aware of the increased attention the European public pays to the subject. As previous EU Presidencies have shown, it is not at all an easy and unpredictable subject. What I can tell you is that we will do our best to try to move towards a common vision on the Common European Asylum System. During our six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union, we will continue to support the steps and instruments for a comprehensive approach to the phenomenon, by furthering cooperation initiatives on the external dimension, in the dialogue with third countries of origin and transit, by firmly supporting efforts to strengthen external borders, but also by pursuing internal efforts towards balanced solutions that meet the differences of vision and expectations of the Member States. As you said, it is an extremely difficult dossier, but we hope we will get a consensus.

RRA Producer: I'm sure you have other topics on today agenda, which you will address in Bucharest with the President of the European Commission and its College of Commissioners. At the end of this interview, I remind that Romania is celebrating today a historical moment, when for the first time since official accession to the EU in 2007, it holds the six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union, a Presidency that Romania will again hold, if I am not mistaken, in 14 years from now, when of course the EU will no longer be confronted with such a difficult file like Brexit. Thank you, Mrs.Prime Minister, for all these information! 

Source:RRA.Translated by Miruna Matei




Etichete Președinția României La Consiliul UEpremierViorica DăncilăApel Matinal

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