Minister-delegate Ciamba: No country is a full member unless it has chaired EU Council

A country cannot be considered a "full member" of the European Union unless it has presided over the EU Council, and Romania has done so very successfully, Romania's Minister-delegate for European Affairs George Ciamba told the "The Europe NEXT Project. A New Europe Political Ambition for Europe" conference on Tuesday. "The presidential capacity is clear proof of what we call the end of the transition in Romania. You are not a full member unless you have been seated at the head of the table, unless you have presided over the Council. That is the first test that we have passed very successfully and it is good for Romania's ego and mood. We have lived up to the expectations, which should not be forgotten soon," Ciamba said. He mentioned EU's enlargement policy and the European outlook of the Western Balkan countries. "If we do not do that, we will pay and we will not be the only ones to pay; stability in the region will suffer. We have seen how strategically important this part of the world is during the migration crisis," said Ciamba. At the same time, he referenced how Brexit was approached under the Romanian presidency of the EU Council. Ciamba said that the Romanian presidency was "haunted by the Brexit ghost." "Europe is in a way, hopefully better protected against a hard Brexit due to the legislation adopted under the Romanian presidency of the EU Council," he said. Aspen Romania's President Mircea Geoana highlighted the role of professionals in the unfolding of the Romanian presidency of the EU Council. "Take care of the dozens of professionals who have played this very sophisticated game of the presidency of the EU Council, have prepared the successful summit in Sibiu," Geoana pointed out. At the same time, presidential advisor Leonard Orban spoke of the need to "preserve" the achievements. "We have reasons to be optimistic, but we have to preserve our achievements, improve them and create a better life for us. If we forget, if we get complacent, we will fail. We must do our best to improve things," he said. "The Europe NEXT Project. A New Political Ambition for Europe" was organized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) in co-operation with the Aspen Institute Romania and the German Marshall Fund Bucharest under the aegis of the Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union. AGERPRES (RO - author: Oana Ghita, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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