Presidency

The Romanian Presidency

of the Council of the European Union

1 January - 30 June 2019

Romanian EU Presidency


As of January 2019, Romania holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time. European citizens, their aspirations and concerns, will be at the centre of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Our drive will be to advance and finalise as many priority legislative files as possible, in order to bring tangible results for the EU citizens.

We are both realistic and ambitious in our approach. Realistic, because we understand we have a transition Presidency between two legislative terms, where complex files such as the Multiannual Financial Framework will be on our table and for which a joint effort and a strong political will, from both the Council and the European Parliament, is essential. Ambitious, because we will strive to be effective, seeking to ensure real progress on many important files and bring them closer to agreement.

The motto of our Presidency: “Cohesion – a common European value”, recalls the principle of unity of the Member States and outlines the importance of reducing economic, social and territorial disparities among the Member States, regions and citizens of the European Union.

Our Programme will focus on four pillars of action:

  • Europe of convergence
  • A safer Europe
  • Europe as a stronger global actor
  • Europe of common values

Home Affairs

In the area of home affairs, the EU currently faces a wide range of challenges that can only be tackled efficiently by coordinated actions, carried out together in the spirit of mutual trust and solidarity.

Internal security, the management of external borders and restoring the full functionality of the Schengen area, migration, visa policy, civil protection are priorities for the Romanian presidency.

In particular:

Strengthening the internal security

Fight against terrorism remains a matter of priority. The Romanian presidency will aim at stepping up cooperation and exchange of best practices among MS in preventing and countering radicalization, both online and offline, consolidating protection of public spaces, as well as enhancing the cooperation between national competent authorities.

We will continue working on the Directive laying down rules for facilitating the use of financial and other type of information for the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of certain offences and on the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online.

Also, we will monitor progress in the implementation of 2018-2020 EU Policy Cycle, including the activities foreseen in the 2019 Operational Plans. We will also promote two initiatives related to developing the police activity based on technology, mobility and information analysis and developing police cooperation and adapting it to the multicultural particularities of emerging communities at MS level.

Management of external borders and the functioning of the Schengen area

Ensuring the security of external borders is one of the most important guarantees for an efficient functioning of the Schengen area.

We will strive to identify solutions to advance the negotiation on regulation on strengthening the mandate of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, in order to ensure the security of the external borders and contribute to a more efficient migration management. Interoperability and implementation of IT systems developed at EU level are subjects high on our agenda. The Romanian presidency will continue the efforts towards finalising negotiations on the proposal of a Regulation on strengthening the security of identity cards of Union citizens and of residence documents issued to Union citizens and their family members exercising their right of free movement and on the proposal concerning the amendment of the Schengen Borders Code, depending on the developments at the level of the European Parliament as well.

With regard to the Schengen evaluation mechanism, the Romanian presidency will facilitate the procedure in the Council with regard to the adoption of draft recommendations in the context of evaluation visits, as well as the implementation of Action Plans by MS.

Migration

The Romanian presidency will continue discussions for identifying consensual solutions that reflect the necessary balance between responsibility and solidarity, thus rendering more efficient the European asylum system. As well, we will continue negotiations in the Council on the Asylum Procedure Regulation, in view of obtaining significant progress.

We are fully sharing the EU objective of making the return policy more effective and thus achieving an efficient and sustainable approach in its implementation. Along this objective, we aim at concluding discussions within the Council on the Return Directive (recast). We will also work towards finding a political agreement on the Immigration Liaison Officers on migration, upon which we intend to start trialogue.

As part of the efforts of reducing the illegal migration flows to the EU, the external dimension of migration will also be treated as a priority. Emphasis will be placed on supporting the ongoing efforts of the European External Action Service and the other European partners in enhancing cooperation with countries of origin and transit in a practical and predictable manner.

We are also committed to encourage the development of legal migration instruments at Union level as a complementary measure to reduce the number of illegal economic migrants.

Visa Policy

The Romanian presidency will carry on work in view of finalizing the negotiations on the Community Code on Visas, as well as advancing discussions on the regulation aiming at updating the Visa Information System. Furthermore, we intend to stimulate discussions within the EU Council with regard to possible measures aiming at ensuring a uniform training of competent staff on the EU common visa policy.

Civil protection

The Romanian Presidency will pay a special attention to the cooperation in civil protection, humanitarian aid and crisis management. Our aim is to support the completion of the work related to the Union’s Civil Protection Mechanism. The focus will be on the necessary preparedness actions of the EU and of the Member States, collectively, to respond to complex emergencies, to unpredictable events, with a low probability and a high social, economic and political impact on our increasingly connected society.

Horizontal aspects

Ensuring a predictable and flexible framework from the financial perspective is essential for keeping the right balance between the current and future challenges and objectives in the JHA area. The Romanian presidency will continue the efforts to advance in the negotiation on the financial proposals related to home affairs issues.

www.romania2019.eu


Contact details

Ministry of Internal Affairs

Piata Revolutiei no.1 A, district 1, Bucharest, ROMANIA

Contact

Office address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1066 Budapest
Ó utca 27
Hungary

Correspondence address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1903 Budapest
Pf.314
Hungary

Email address

Telephone: +36 1 803 8030/8031

Fax: +36 1 803 8032

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