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2016, May 26

THE DUTCH PERSPECTIVE OF THE EU COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

The Department of International Relations and European Integration (DRIIE), from the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA) organized on Thursday, May 26th 2016, an Open lecture with Her Excellency Ms. Stella Ronner-Grubacic, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Romania.

The event belonged to a series of reunions with ambassadors of the European Union Member States in Romania, having the overarching theme The Rotating EU Council Presidency. The subject is of utmost importance for Romania, that will hold the Council Presidency in the second half of 2019 for the first time since its accession to the EU; DRIIE started the promotion of this subject during the fall of 2015 through the Jean Monnet Module EU*Ro Media. European Standards, Romanian Application: The Media Roadmap for Romania’s EU Council Presidency.

The EU*Ro Media Module was a partner of DRIIE regarding the organization of the series of reunions taking place over the next three years which is in itself an important step in the implementation of the project’s aim to bring the subject into the public opinion’s attention with the help of Romanian journalists trained in investigating and reporting European Affairs.

The public profile of these events facilitated the participation of a diversified audience – students, representatives of the academic environment, mass-media and civil society – and fosters, on one hand, the debate on the opportunities and challenges of preparing and exercising the EU Council Presidency from a national and European perspective, through the lens of previous Member States’ experience, and, on the other hand, the spread of concerning discussions outside universities.

The third event from the series was dedicated to the Netherlands, a state with which Romania has been maintaining friendly bilateral relations for more than a century and has been intensifying political and economic exchanges predominantly in the last decade. On Thursday, May 26th 2016, Her Excellency Ms. Stella Ronner-Grubacic not only shared particular details regarding the Dutch EU Council Presidency in 2016, but also overall information about the Netherlands’ experience with organizing no less than ten mandates in six decades and across different  political, institutional and legal contexts.


2016, April 25

THE SLOVAK PERSPECTIVE OF THE EU COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

On 25th of April 2016, the Department of International Relations and European Integration from the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration hosted the open lecture on the EU Council Presidency – The Slovak Perspective of the EU Council Presidency – with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Slovakia in Bucharest.

Background

The event was the second from a series of reunions with ambassadors of the European Union Member States in Romania, having the overarching theme The rotating EU Council Presidency. The subject is of utmost importance for Romania, that will hold the Council Presidency in the second half of 2019 for the first time since its accession to the EU, and its promotion started in the academic environment during the fall of 2015 through the Jean Monnet Module EU*Ro Media. European Standards, Romanian Application:  The Media Roadmap for Romania’s EU Council Presidency.

The EU*Ro Media Module is a partner of DRIIE regarding the organization of the series of reunions taking place over the next three years which is in itself an important step in the implementation of the project’s aim to bring the subject into the public opinion’s attention with the help of Romanian journalists trained in investigating and reporting European Affairs.

Overview of the event

The Open lecture was given by His Excellency Mr. Ján Gábor, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Romania, to over 30 attendees from the academic environment who listened to an overall presentation of the Slovak’s experience in preparing the agenda for the EU Council Presidency that will be taken over from the Netherlands in the second semester of 2016.

H.E. Mr. Ján Gábor initiated the talk with a brief presentation of Slovakia’s efforts for European integration and went ahead with further details on how the membership status positively influenced the development of the Central-European state and how it enhanced the country’s profile in the world. He made it clear that the mandate Slovakia has to carry out is both an opportunity for the country to demonstrate its maturity as a reliable partner for the other member states in the EU and a challenge which is even greater in the present volatile political context. The refugee crisis, the terrorist threat and the prospect of the United Kingdom leaving the EU complicates the framework in which Slovakia has to steer the Union-wide agenda and further the progress on issues of sectoral concern such as the energy union, neighbourhood cooperation, competitiveness, etc. However, Slovakia is confident that the Council Presidency will be easier to manage if it has got the support of the V4 countries and most importantly, of Romania with which it maintains much treasured cultural and economic ties.

Furthermore, H.E. Mr. Ján Gábor provided the audience with details of the EU Council Presidency corps’ training, the number and location of future inter-ministerial meetings and events planned for the second half of 2016 and the rationale behind the budgetary spending for the preparation of the Slovak Council Presidency. Last but not least, the Ambassador promoted the five priorities Slovakia intends to work on during the six month period: a Union of employment, growth and competitiveness; a Union of opportunities for its citizens; an energy union with prospective climate policy; a Union of freedom, security and justice and a Union as a strong global player/actor. These priorities have been agreed and included in the eighteen-month programme after close talks with the other member states of the Presidency trio, the Netherlands and Malta.

Open lecture outcomes

The meeting with His Excellency Mr. Ján Gábor revealed, in the first place, the similarities between Slovakia and Romania, but also the origin and nature of the relations sustained between the two states. Secondly, the meeting emphasized that the historical, cultural and economic ties shared with Romania are sound ground for enhanced cooperation in the future and also that Slovakia has always been a strong supporter of Romania in the EU and thus its ally in the particular institutional setting of the Council. Finally, a formula on how a less influential member state could make its views heard and implemented in a Union dominated by greater economic and political players was suggested to the audience: alliance formation between member states sharing common opinions and/or drawing on older consolidated partnerships. Although there is not a precise recipe on which a state could maximize its influence in the EU, the strategy employed by Slovakia could be used as an example for Romania.

 


2016, April 11

THE POLISH PERSPECTIVE OF THE EU COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

On 11th of April 2016, the Department of International Relations and European Integration (DRIIE) from the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA) hosted the open lecture on the EU Council Presidency – The Polish Perspective of the EU Council Presidency – with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Bucharest.

Background

The event was the first from a series of reunions with ambassadors of the European Union Member States in Romania, having the overarching theme The Rotating EU Council Presidency. The subject is of utmost importance for Romania, that will hold the Council Presidency in the second half of 2019 for the first time since its accession to the EU, and its promotion started in the SNSPA academic environment during the fall of 2015 through the Jean Monnet Module EU*Ro Media. European Standards, Romanian Application:  The Media Roadmap for Romania’s EU Council Presidency.

The EU*Ro Media Module is a partner of DRIIE regarding the organization of the series of reunions taking place over the next three years which is in itself an important step in the implementation of the project’s aim to bring the subject into the public opinion’s attention with the help of Romanian journalists trained in investigating and reporting European Affairs.

Overview of the event

The Open lecture was given by His Excellency Mr. Marcin Wilczek, Ambassador of the Polish Republic in Romania to over 35 attendees from both the academic environment and the civil society who listened to an overall presentation of Poland’s experience in preparing and carrying out the agenda for the EU Council Presidency for the first time in 2011.

While the presentation had a more general stance, touching upon subjects such as the legal framework for the Council Presidency after the Treaty of Lisbon, the choice of places for the informal inter-ministerial meetings in Poland, the number of experts trained for the Presidency corps and the budget allocated for the traineeships, the promotional campaign and last, but not least, the main achievements and shortcomings of the Polish Presidency, it however sparked a lively debate on other aspects of interest for the audience.

Mr. Wilczek’s account was followed by a series of questions from the public regarding Poland’s success in improving the country’s image in the EU, the promotion of its own agenda and alliance-formation, the relevance of negotiations with Cyprus and Denmark, but also with other member states in setting the 18 month agenda, the convergence of Polish objectives for the Council Presidency across the party system, the cooperation with the civil society, the prioritization of the budget and last, but not least, the partnership between Romania and Poland in the next three years.

Briefly, the answer to all of these questions is that the EU Council Presidency represented both a challenge and also an achievement for Poland in terms of changing the misconceptions about it as an Eastern underdeveloped state, bringing the citizens closer to the EU decision-making process by involving the locals in the organization of the informal meetings with European delegates in different cities in Poland and promoting the national artists through the gifts offered during the officials’ visits in the country. Moreover, holding the Council Presidency was an exercise for Poland which had to prove its ability to work in a team towards achieving results that benefited the EU as a whole and this was most important when working together with member states having different interests and views. The ability to work in a team and most often to play the role of team leader helped cement the image of Poland as an honest broker during negotiations. Overall, the Polish EU Council Presidency was a solid first time experience and its success rests mainly upon the sound cooperation between the national administration and the civil society, including the media, common citizens and the academic environment whose input proved to be decisive in the first phase of the training civil servants had to undergo. This could as well be a model for Romania which has to go through similar preparations for the Council Presidency in 2019. In light of this event that will span over a six month period, Romania can find a reliable partner in Poland primarily on subjects of common geostrategic concern such as security and neighbourhood cooperation in the framework of the EU-NATO relations and the EU policies, but also on economic matters.

Open lecture outcomes

The audience attending the event managed to get a better grasp of the Polish experience prior and during the six month Presidency and understand both the opportunities and challenges arising from such a high level task. Aside from the general information H.E Mr. Martin Wilczek provided, the picture regarding the agenda setting was filled in with more in-depth details following the Q&A session and in the end the attendees were provided with a clearer management model Romania could follow in its steps for the second half of 2019.


2015, November 24

EU*Ro MEDIA OPENING CONFERENCE

The 24th of November 2015 marked the launch of the Jean Monnet Module “EU*Ro Media, European Standards, Romanian Application: The Media Roadmap for Romania’s EU Council Presidency” through the Opening Conference “The Romanian EU Council Presidency Through The Eyes of The Media: Opportunities And Challenges” which took place at the headquarters of the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration.

The event gathered teachers, students, researchers and members of the civil society who engaged into a fruitful dialogue with the invited speakers from the field of professional journalism such as Ovidiu Nahoi, Adrian Bărbulescu, Luminița Bogdan and Viorica Marin regarding the role of mass-media within the context of preparing the Romanian agenda for the EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2019.

The Jean Monnet Module “EU*Ro Media, European Standards, Romanian Application: The Media Roadmap for Romania’s EU Council Presidencyis aimed at providing media professionals with the necessary education in the domain of European Affairs with a view to consolidate the role of the press in reporting EU developments.

The project is co-financed by: The European Commission, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency through the ERASMUS+ Programme and its implementation will be carried out by the Department of International Relations and European Integration in the period September 2015 – August 2018.