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Alocuțiunea Președintelui României, domnul Klaus Iohannis, susținută în cadrul întâlnirii cu membrii Colegiului Comisarilor

Mister President of the European Commission, dear Jean-Claude,
Dear members of the European Commission,
Dear guests and participants,

It is a great pleasure to welcome you today here in Bucharest, in the context of the official opening of the first Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU for the first time is an important moment for Romania as an EU Member State and a good opportunity for us to translate on all dimensions of the EU action our attachment to the European project and values.

We intend to use this opportunity to show our commitment and bring our contribution towards building a stronger, more united and efficient Union. I believe this is an objective that we fully share and I appreciate the commitment of the European Commission in this regard.

The European Commission is a key partner for the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, as well as for the overall cooperation between the EU institutions.

I particularly appreciate the approach that the European Commission is promoting in terms of consolidating the European project and deepening the integration process for the benefit of all European citizens.

As you know, Romania fully shares the pro-European approach. Romania's stance within the EU has always been and will continue to be in favour of a strong, united and cohesive Union where all Member States bring their contribution to the advancement of the European project.

Our vision is that common efforts at the EU level should focus on ways to overcome any divisions and discrepancies between Member States in order to strengthen our Union and demonstrate the EU’s capacity to take up a more assertive role on the global arena.

I am convinced that, through our coordinated actions, we can contribute to a better European Union.

I would like to reassure you of Romania's desire to contribute to advancing the European Agenda in a constructive and consensual manner.

We hold the Presidency of the Council of the EU in a context of important and complex developments at the EU level: the reflection on the future of Europe, the European elections, the Brexit process, migration and security, negotiations on EU’s future budget, the strengthening of the euro area mechanisms or the EU’s external action in an unpredictable and ever-changing international environment.

The discussions on the future of Europe will be at the forefront of the European agenda during Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Summit in Sibiu, on May the 9th, will be the landmark of our Presidency, taking into account its role in preparing the future strategic priorities of the Union for the period 2019-2024.

I believe this will be a good opportunity to reflect together on the way we see the evolution of the European project. We will strive to support consensual discussions that would reaffirm, through a political Declaration, our common determination to lay the foundations for an ambitious vision for the future of the Union.

The future Multiannual Financial Framework is one of the key files of our Presidency of the Council of the EU. Romania will be fully engaged in this process, in line with the objective set at the December European Council, making all efforts in defining realistic and balanced options.

We will make every effort to maintain the accelerated path of the negotiation process, in order to progress as much as possible by the end of our mandate.

The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union is a major priority on our agenda, especially as it is due to be finalized during our Presidency of the Council of the EU. In this regard, we aim to maintain the unity of the EU27 around the principles governing the negotiation process.           Over the next months, we will actively support the process of approval of the Withdrawal Agreement at the EU level, by providing the necessary institutional framework that would allow an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom.

The European context is a sensitive one, determined not only by the prospect of the elections for the European Parliament but also by the political atmosphere among and within Member States, which in some cases generates difficulties in reaching decisions at the European level.

We will strive to advance the European Agenda on a consensual, inclusive manner and act as an honest broker between all stakeholders. Our main objective is that of maintaining the unity and cohesion among Member States, which is reflected also in the motto of our Presidency which is „Cohesion, a common European value”. We are convinced that we can only build a credible future of the EU by strengthening its core, fundamental, values.

The context is not easy, but I do trust that the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU will be a consistent one, based on a pragmatic and constructive approach, on hard work and on the strong support of the European Commission and other European partners and European institutions.

Having said that, let me say once again ”Welcome to Romania!” and I am convinced that together we will do that. I hope you will find a well prepared country for the Presidency we started last night together with a very good cultural event. Culture unites us, politics not always. But I think we will be able to prove that politics is also something you master. So, I wish you all a nice day in Romania and I'm looking forward to your opinions, first of all, of course, the opinion of my dear friend, Jean-Claude.