Romania’s first time at the helm of the European Union presidency will not be hampered by political divisions at home, according to the country’s foreign affairs minister.
“The government of Romania … will do its best to have a successful presidency,” Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu told reporters ahead of a ceremony marking the start of the presidency later on January 10.
“It is not a project of a majority, or of a government, it is a country project for Romania after 10 years of participation in the EU.”
As reported by the Reuters news agency, however, Romania is politically divided ahead of the European elections and its own presidential polls toward the end of the year. It is also under EU scrutiny over corruption and concerns about the rule of law.
What is more, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis, a centrist who represents the country at EU summits, has been critical of the social democratic government’s preparedness for the EU presidency and its plans to overhaul the judiciary that have raised EU concern.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said late last year the Romanian government “has not yet fully understood what it means to preside over EU countries.”