ForMin Melescanu: Hard to believe we will have EC portfolio with important funds for third time

 Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu said Thursday that it is hard to believe that Romania will manage to hold for the third time within the European Commission a portfolio that manages "many projects and very important funds", after having held two such positions consecutively. "Indeed, Romania has had extremely important portfolios in the last two Commission terms. With a lot of money, anyhow. It is about the Commissioner for Agriculture and the Commissioner for Regional Development. Both of which are the European Commission portfolios with the highest amount of money. So it is hard to believe that we may have a third time a commissioner to really be on a portfolio that has a lot of projects and very important funds behind. Nowadays, what is happening is a discussion aimed at fixing the four or five key positions at the Commission level, after which we will move on to the second stage. On Romania's behalf, obviously there is an interest in having a portfolio that is as close as possible to our concerns, but obviously these things will be the subject of consultations. I am not very optimistic that we will have a very large portfolio, (...) but in any case we will have a commissioner, because the rule is that each member country should have a commissioner in the Commission, so obviously there will be no problems," the minister told a press conference held in the context of the launch of the Finnish Presidency of the EU Council. After the European commissioner portfolio held by Corina Cretu was temporarily taken over by Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, following the former's resignation, Minister Melescanu said Romania has an "excellent candidate" to fill this position over the coming months. "As far as the commissioners leaving the Commission are concerned, they can be appointed short-term, until the conclusion of the new formula, another commissioner can be appointed. We have the candidate, I can tell you his/her name, but I do not think it is appropriate for me to talk here now, because things are evolving at EU level. However, we will not be left during these four months without a commissioner, and I assure you that we have a candidate - not good - excellent," the head of the Romanian diplomacy said. AGERPRES (RO - author: Irinela Visan, editor: Georgiana Tanasescu; EN - author; Simona Iacob, editor; Bogdan Gabaroi)

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