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Minister-delegate for European Affairs Victor Negrescu said on Friday that a "broad consensus" exists over Romania's presidency of the Council of the European Union, reiterating that Romania is ready to assume the office.

"Romania is ready to assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union. I say this as clearly as possible because it is based on certain facts and actual elements that have been achieved. We are politically ready because our priorities for the presidency of the Council of the European Union have been unanimously supported by the Romanian Parliament in the relevant committees since May 2018. On this backdrop, I want to emphasise once again that there is a consensus over our presidency of the Council of the European Union, a broad consensus that we would like to be a genuine national consensus," Negrescu said at the" European Democracy Forum," an event organised by the European Parliament Bureau in Romania that included the launch of an information campaign touting the importance of participating in the European elections of May 26, 2019.

Negrescu added that the entire logistics is also prepared for taking over this presidency. "We have an agenda of events, nearly 300 events (...) complete with the venues that will host those events, technical details, and the leaders for each event. We have a logo, we have a motto, we have the visual identity, we have defined all these issues," Negrescu said.

He said that Romania has "a consistent presence" in Brussels.

"Romania is already acting as the shadow or future holder of the presidency, participating in working groups in Brussels or other parts of Europe in a consistent manner, precisely through those who will do so during our tenure. More than 1,500 trained experts are ready for action," Negrescu said.

He also mentioned the main challenges that Romania will manage: Brexit, a debate on the future of the European budget, discussions on the elections to the European Parliament and the formation of the European Commission, the future of the European Union at the Sibiu Summit, and also other important meetings to be hosted by Romania.

Negrescu highlighted the importance of the young people's vote in the elections to the European Parliament in 2019, and pointed out that the young people's involvement in the time between two polling periods is equally important.

"If we want to change something in the Erasmus program, the first rule is to participate in the consultations organised by the European Commission (...) Because, yes, European legislation largely influences national legislation, as two-thirds of national laws are influenced by European decisions," Negrescu said.

Speaking about the involvement of young people in the vote of May 26, 2019 were also MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP) and MEPs Razvan Popa and Claudia Tapardel of S&D.

Marinescu pointed out that the young people's absence from voting in a significant number in the previous European elections is a "very bad" thing.

In his turn, Popa underlined that a significant presence in next year's European Parliament elections would block the rise of extremist parties.

Tapardel advocated a vote for the future.

At the conference, Stephen Clark, Director of Communication within the European Parliament, presented the EP campaign to promote the importance of participation in the European elections of May 26, 2019 "This time I'm voting," which will take place on two levels: through the media and debates of the candidates, and a new one each citizen will be able to register online as a volunteer and participate in election events in his or her city.

The conclusion of the 4th edition of the "Promoters for European Democracy" project was also marked, by awarding several prizes to some of the young participants in the project. Participating in the "Forum of European Democracy," hosted by the Auditorium of the Bucharest School of Economics (ASE), were 200 young people from all over the country. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Florea, editor: Florin Marin; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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