In the first half of 2019, Romania holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, for the first time since the EU accession in 2007. The six months of the EU Council’s leadership started formally with a ceremony at the Romanian Athenaeum in the presence of Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and Donald Tusk, President of The European Council.
Romanian officials will chair meetings of the ten Council configurations (Agriculture, Education and Youth, Environment, Justice and Home Affairs, etc.) in Brussels. Also, Romania will host dozens of working meetings between ministers, others dignitaries and senior civil servants from all member states. This year, the Heads of State and Government will spend Europe Day in Romania and the main theme will be how will the European Union look with the actual exit of Great Britain (scheduled for March 27th).
The full calendar of events is available here. We prepared a list of the most important other events held in the margin of the Presidency of the EU Council. Of these, many are even an opportunity for civil society to raise concrete solutions to the countless issues that have been raised over time in the European Union and beyond.
1. High Level eGovernment Conference – Iasi, Palace of Culture, 18-19 February;
2. Conference “Combating denial / minimization of the Holocaust through education and memorial activities” – Parliament Palace, March 11;
3. The 8th European Summit of Regions and Cities, Parliament Palace, 14-15 March;
4. European Union Youth Conference, National Library of Romania, 25-28 March;
5. High Level Public Procurement Conference, Parliament Palace, April 4;
6. International Conference on “Agenda 2030: Partnerships for Sustainable Development”, Parliament Palace, April 16;
7. Conference on Children’s Participation in Decision Making and Policy Making at EU Level, Sheraton Hotel Bucharest, 6-7 May;
8. Conference “Convergence Europe: Growth, Competitiveness, Connectivity”, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, May 17;
9. Conference “How to Respond to the European Aspirations of Youth in the Western Balkans”, Hotel Marriot Bucharest, 30-31 May;
10. Conference on Quality in Education and Vocational Training, Polytechnic University of Bucharest, 4-5 June.
At this point, however, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs still has to work. In order to ensure transparency, a procedure is needed on how civil society representatives can take part in the activities organized in the context of the Presidency. We already sent a request for information of public interest to the MFA about this.