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The Romanian Presidency Priorities and Culture

On January the 1st 2019, Romania took over the EU’s rotating presidency for the first time. Romania will chair meetings at every level in the Council, helping to ensure the continuity of the EU’s work in the Council in the coming six months. With EU parliament elections, Brexit, Multiannaul Financial Framework (MFF) negotiations and a migration crisis at hand, Romania will help set the agenda for what is expected to be a pivotal moment for the bloc.

With the motto “cohesion, a common European value”, the presidency programme focuses on four main priorities: Europe of convergence, a safer Europe, Europe as a strong global actor and Europe of common values. The Romanian Presidency aims to bring a contribution to ensuring cohesion in Europe, in order to achieve sustainable and equal development opportunities for all citizens and Member States, through increasing competitiveness and reducing development gaps, promoting connectivity and digitalisation. To make Europe a safer space, the Presidency will work towards increasing cohesion among EU Member States by dealing with the new security challenges that threaten the safety of citizens and through supporting the cooperation initiatives in the field.

During its mandate as Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Romania promises to further consolidate the global role of the EU through promoting the enlargement policy, the European action in its neighbourhood, further implementing the Global Strategy, ensuring the necessary resources for the EU, and implementing all of the EU’s global commitments. In the coming six moths period, the Romanian Presidency will work towards stimulating the solidarity and cohesion of the EU through promoting policies on combating discrimination, ensuring equal chances and equal treatment between men and women, as well as through increasing the involvement of the citizens, in particular the youth, in the European debates.

Culture and Education in the Romanian Presidency program

Although the areas of education and culture, together with youth and sport are in the competences of the Member States, the Romanian Presidency see education and culture as key to Europe’s future. “Developing the feeling of belonging to Europe, – mentions the program, – involves understanding and promoting European values in formal, non-formal, and informal education contexts. The role of education, culture and youth-centred policies is thus a determining factor in promoting shared European values and ideals, as well as in creating a European identity”.

The central theme of the programme of the Romanian Presidency is “Connecting Education”, pursuing three major dimensions: mobility, inclusion and excellence. The Presidency will continue discussing the proposal for a Regulation on the Erasmus+ Programme, with a view to agreeing a programme that favours inclusion and that contributes to increasing the mobility of pupils, student, teachers and administrative staff, as well as to promoting European values through education. Moreover, the Romanian Presidency will focus on promoting training, multilingual and cultural awareness.

European cultural heritage that creates feeling of belonging to a common space and plays a fundamental role in increasing Europe’s attractiveness will be in the spotlight for the Romanian Presidency. Debates and events are in the pipeline to build upon the legacy and momentum created by the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. Besides cultural heritage, the presidency will pay a special attention to “maximising the European cultural and creative potential for the benefit of all European citizens“. To achieve this aim, the Romanian Presidency aims to continue negotiations on the new Creative Europe programme and plans to call Creative Europe desks meeting in order to ensure predictability and continuity of projects for the benefits of all parties involved.

The Romanian Presidency will promote European film works by improving the cross-border circulation of audio-video creations and co-productions. Fighting disinformation through media literacy and quality journalism is also among the list of actions of the Presidency.

The Presidency is scheduling draft Council conclusions on future creative generations for adoption in the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council of 22/23 May 2019. Romania will also host a Summit in Sibiu on 9 May (Europe Day), which will guide the debate on the future of Europe.

Detailed programme of the Romanian Presidency is available here.