Romania celebrates Council of EU presidency

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Romania celebrates Council of EU presidency


From right, Ambassador of the European Union to Korea Michael Reiterer, Ambassador of Romania Mihai Ciompec, Ambassador of Finland Eero Suominen and Ambassador of Croatia Damir Kusen at the reception to celebrate the Romanian presidency of the Council of the EU at the Romanian Embassy, central Seoul, Friday. Romania, Finland and Croatia make up the presidency trio of the council for the next 18 months, with the role rotating every six months. [PARK SANG-MOON]

In celebrating the commencement of Romania’s presidency of the Council of the European Union, Ambassador of Romania to Korea Mihai Ciompec emphasized the need for members of the EU to stay united especially in the midst of events like Brexit.

“The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union will take place at a time when common efforts of the Members States and of the EU institutions are needed in order to identify workable solutions to major challenges the European unification project is currently facing,” said Ciompec in an address to dozens of diplomats and public officials from the Korean government at the Romanian Embassy, central Seoul, Friday.

“Brexit takes the European Union into a new reality. This process must be orderly managed and the unity of the EU27 maintained, while striving for strong and close future relations with the Britain.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal was defeated in the British parliament last week with the exit date looming in about two months.

The Council of the European Union is a group of government ministers from each EU member country that meets regularly to form EU policies and laws. The council works with the European Parliament to adopt laws.

The council is different from the European Council, which is a summit held four times a year among EU leaders to discuss the broad direction of EU policies. It is also different from the Council of Europe, a human rights organization based in France.

The presidency of the Council of the European Union rotates every six months among EU member states. This is the first time Romania has gained the presidency since it joined the EU 12 years ago in 2007. The presidency began this month.

The ambassador of Romania said the country will play the role of “a genuine and honest broker” in the next six months for cohesion among member states.

“We consider that the EU policies should be more in line with the principle of cohesion among member states, regions and citizens,” he said.

More specifically, Ciompec said the Romanian government hopes to take forward the negotiation process of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework; to coordinate policies among EU members on migration; and to increase the union’s cooperation with countries in what it calls the Eastern Neighborhood.

“It is indeed a notable occasion to celebrate the first ever Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union,” said Michael Reiterer, ambassador of the EU to Korea. “Assuming the leadership of the different domestic council formations at a critical time for the European Union is testimony to the determination of the Romanian people over the last three decades to build an advanced democracy based on the values that represent the Union.”

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