The Romanian Presidency of the European Union Council
Romania took over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 January 2019, until June 30, 2019. It is the most important role that Romania plays at European level since its accession in 2007.
The Council of the European Union represents thee governments of the EU Member States and, together with the European Parliament, is part of the European Legislature. At the same time, the EU Council coordinates the policies of the Member States: the economic and budgetary policies of the Member States, strengthening economic governance in the EU, education policy, culture, youth and sport policy as well as employment policy. The EU Council also has an important political role, namely mediation and negotiation, in particular for the establishment of the Council's agenda, representing the Council within the EU and representing the EU in informal meetings at international level, such as the UN, etc.
The Council of the European Union is a single legal unit but it reunites itself in 10 different councils or formats, each dealing with a particular sector. The sessions are chaired by the competent minister of the State holding the six-month presidency of the Council.
The issue of human rights is part of the attirbutions of the Council of Justice and Internal Affairs (JIA), consisting of ministers of justice and internal affairs from all EU Member States, and aiming to create "an area of freedom, security and justice in the EU ". Besides the role of adopting legislation designed to guarantee fundamental rights, the JIA Council adopts, in most cases toghether with the European Parliament, legislation aimed at ensuring the free movement of persons within the EU and at guaranteeing protection for citizens. The Council is responsible for asylum and immigration policies, judicial cooperation in civil matters, fight against crime and terrorism. The JIA Council is also competent in matters related to the European area without borders (Shengen Area).
During the Presidency of the EU Council, Romania's role is to give impetus to the Council's legislative work, while maintaining the continuity of EU programs and ensuring good cooperation between Member States. In particular, the Romanian ministers will lead discussions and negotiations for the adoption of Community legislation, will coordinate European policies, deal with security and economic issues.
The priorities of the Romanian Presidency are focused on the slogan: cohesion, a common European value, in the sense of unity, equal treatment and convergence. The program of the Romanian Presidency will focus on four priorities: a Europe of convergence, a safer Europe, a world leading actor Europe and a Europe of common values.
During the six-month mandate, Romania will manage significant European project files such as Brexit, Shengen Area, EU budget, European Parliament elections.