Embassy Actuality

Public presentation in Latvia of the priorities of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

On 29 January 2019, the Ambassador of Romania presented publicly the priorities of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council/PRES RO. The event took place at the Europe’s House in Riga and was organized in cooperation with the European Commission Representation in Latvia. EU and non-EU ambassadors, Latvian officials, analysts, journalists, etc. attended the presentation.

The event was moderated by the Acting Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia, Mr Andris Kužnieks, and had as a special guest Ms Solveiga Silkalna, the Latvian Under-Secretary of State for European Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also, H.E. Ms Stella Avallone, the Ambassador of Austria to Latvia, presented the results of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (PRES AT), which ended in December 2018.

In the opening, Andris Kužnieks congratulated the PRES RO for taking on the office, stressing that the Summit of European Leaders in Sibiu on the Future of Europe (9 May 2019) will be the peak of Romania's mandate, along with handling the debates on the EU budget or on the Brexit file. 
The Austrian Ambassador recalled the three major priorities of the PRES AT mandate, held under the motto "A Europe that protects": 1. security, 2. prosperity and competitiveness, 3. regional stability. Enlargement, the internal market or migration were among the priorities of the PRES AT.

The Ambassador of Romania presented the PRES RO priorities, underlining that the principle of cohesion will mark all four main pillars of action: Europe of Convergence, A Safer Europe, Europe – A Stronger Global Actor and Europe of Common Values. He specified that PRES RO will act as an honest broker to promote all these priorities, amid significant challenges: the Brexit process, the negotiation of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework / MFF, the process of reflection on the future of Europe, the organization of the Summit of the European Leaders in Sibiu, as well as the elections to the European Parliament.

In her turn, the under-secretary of state in the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Solveiga Silkalna, emphasized the importance of the PRES RO mandate in this context and mentioned that the motto chosen by Romania, "Cohesion, a common European value", is relevant since it covers all the EU policies, and socio-economic cohesion is the main purpose of budget allocations at EU level. Referring to Brexit, Silkalna reiterated the importance of maintaining a close relationship with the UK in any scenario.

At the end of the discussion, the Latvian official pointed out that her country would support the priorities announced by PRES RO and reminded that the success of a rotating presidency of the EU Council depends also on a good public communication.


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