12 years after joining the European Union, Romania will hold the presidency of the Council of the European Union, the first opportunity to play an important role in the European decision-making process.
Romanian Academic Society, after the hard work of Andra-Lucia Martinescu, together with Rareş Burlacu and Cătălina Moisescu, published a report titled “Highlights and Strategic Approaches for the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council in 2019”, which sets the general context by delivering a comparative analysis of the experience of other states in the process of preparing and implementing the EU Presidency. The report also identifies a number of relevant milestones, but also performance indicators that could complement institutional efforts by exemplifying successful practices. In the long run, the goal is to build a collaborative platform of expertise focused on building a strategic vision involving the capital accumulated by the diaspora, as well as strengthening Romania’s position at European level.
In 2019, Romania’s performance will also depend on a strategic approach of the EU Presidency, because, in fact, the level of ambition will be closely linked to the rationalization and credibility of the internal decision-making process. A unitary strategic vision of Romania for the EU Presidency can be achieved by extending the participatory framework through constant assessments and transparent initiatives aimed at legitimizing agenda and objectives at European level and beyond.
The Diaspora of Romania and through it, the expertise and the social capital obtained abroad, represent an advantage to be fully exploited. Thus, an informal network made up of Romanian experts, students, academics or professionals from various fields can communicate Romania’s priorities to the foreign public, supporting and effectively advancing strategic objectives and foreign policy. In conclusion, the involvement of the diaspora in formulating national priorities and in the process of drafting the EU Presidency presents a number of advantages.
Our main assumption is that, through informal networks, the exchange of knowledge and know-how, including the analysis and dissemination of information, are often done more effectively than through formal or hierarchical channels. By acting as a binder in policy analysis and formulation, informal networks are not only cost-effective, but also enhance interinstitutional coordination.
As Romania opted for an EU Presidency targeted the citizens, assuming this commitment will involve sustaining and upholding European values. In a context of uncertainty about EU cohesion or even the future budgetary architecture, the mandate of Romania should no longer be perceived as a mere maturity test.
The EU Presidency will allow Romania to leave a long-lasting impression at European level by increasing its influence capacity. Bellow you can find recommendations for forthcoming Romanian EU Presidency:
#exposure #visibility #credibility
The message should consistently incorporate the Presidency’s objective, the contribution and the flagship priorities: the Presidency’s footprint or niche. Public participation and the mobilization of various actors, including civil society, provide exposure and facilitate the receptivity of target audiences in the preparation of the program and priorities of the Presidency. Transparency becomes essential in both the preparatory phase and the implementation of the EU Presidency.
Targets: Increasing credibility, strengthening the country’s European profile, maximizing bargaining capacity and leverage.
Strong efforts to build institutional capacity (from the preparatory stage) can neutralize modest or even pessimistic expectations over the mandate of the EU Presidency. In some cases (Slovenia, Malta, Latvia, Slovenia) the preparation of the EU presidency’s complex mandate, the development of institutional capacity to manage European agendas, has led to the alleviation of systemic problems. Some of them include: inefficient bureaucracies, limited administrative capacities, lack of cohesion at inter-institutionally in defining national interests or formulating a strategic vision and unitary policy (in line with national and European interests) as well as the lack of experience in managing a complicated European agenda.
The overall success and performance of an EU Presidency can be assessed by three target groups / audiences:
– The wide public (national and European): through an efficient country brand, consistent messages and measures to benefit both local and European public.
– Power brokers: legitimate interest groups that have the capacity to influence EU decisions such as the business sector, NGOs, other international organizations and third countries.
– Other Member States: Representatives of the Council, the European Parliament (co-participants in the decision-making process) and the European Commission.
The experience of other Member States in mandate management, good practice, but also legislative efficiency shows that, although important resources are secondary to success. We believe that legislative performance or simply the fulfillment of the role imposed by the presidency will depend on the stability of the vision – the programmatic dimension by formulating relevant objectives and priorities to guide the mandate.
In his 2017 speech on the state of the European Union, President Juncker presented a roadmap with the main steps towards a more united, stronger and more democratic Union. Starting from this roadmap, national leaders met in Tallinn (Estonia) where they agreed on a Leaders’ Agenda – a list of the hottest issues and challenges that need to be found before the European Parliament elections in 2019. On May 9, 2019, the leaders of the member states will meet again, this time in Sibiu, Romania, in the context of the presidency of the Council of the European Union held by the country. The event is expected to be a culmination of the process in which participants will renew their commitment to a European Union that acts decisively in areas that really matter to Europeans.