Romania is struggling to answer an important question about who will run its turn at the helm of the European Union’s six-month rotating presidency. Is it the country’s president or prime minister?
Speaking to local media, Romania’s foreign affairs minister Teodor Meleșcanu said: “The technical answer is given by two decisions of the Constitutional Court, from the time of president Traian Băsescu. According to them, Romania’s president goes to the European Council. If economic or financial problems exist, then the PM can go. In both cases, nonetheless, a mandate is needed from the Parliament, when new proposals or positions concerning Romania’s foreign policy are made”.
But Romania’s Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă disagrees. She said the EU presidency is held by the country’s PM and the government. “The presidency of the EU Council is held by the prime minister and the government; it is a rule that needs to be followed; all that is related to European legislation, all that entails running councils in various areas, the ministers in the government preside over them and the prime minister runs the presidency of the EU Council,” she said.
As reported by Romania-Insider online, Meleșcanu explained that Romania’s situation is “atypical because at the EU level, there are two or three heads of state that come at the European Council. In the end, the mandates that are carried out are made by [the foreign affairs ministry].”