Deputy-minister Negrescu: Holding EU Council Presidency will increase Romania's overall influence at European level

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The Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which Romania will hold in 2019, is not just a six-month mission, it is also thought to increase Romania's capacity to discuss European issues, to increase its overall influence at a European level, Minister-delegate for European Affairs Victor Negrescu said on Thursday.

He participated in the opening of a Forum for public consultation, communication and debate in order to prepare and exercise Romania's presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Negrescu talked about events in the country and in Brussels in the half-year in which Romania will be holding the presidency of the EU Council.

He specified that 1,330 formal and informal events will be held in Brussels and 250 all over Romania.

He explained that over 200 officials are appointed as chairs and deputy chairs of working groups. At the same time, 1,500 officials have been identified in the administration for positions of coordinators and file experts.

Those involved in organising these events, he explained, will attend classes at to be provided by the European Institute in Romania and the Romanian Diplomatic Institute. At the same time, European-level courses offered by the EU Council and the European Commission will also be organised, he said.

According to Negrescu, one of the steps ahead of the 2019 presidency is attracting "quality human resources."

He added that Romanian officials are ready to organise a post-Brexit summit in the central Romanian city of Sibiu. "We have already discussed with the local administration," said Negrescu.

He added that he wanted the civil society to get involved in the events under the Romanian Presidency, in order to "generate effervescence."

"We seek each time to get different categories involved in order to convey a message that this presidency is not about a minister, a ministry, a government, but about each and every Romanian," he said.

Negrescu announced that the logo of the EU Council Presidency 2019 will be the result of a youth contest.

According to him, featuring on the preparation agenda are the launch of volunteer programmes, internships, contests for positions in the training team, public consultations on priorities, a three-way dialogue with Croatia and Finland and the launch of a website.

Currently, Romania is ahead of schedule with the preparations, according to Negrescu.

The event comprised conversations with representatives of the academia, local administrations, students and the media. AGERPRES (RO — author: Oana Ghita, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN — author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Rodica State)

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