Minister Delegate for European Affairs Victor Negrescu said on Thursday that the core element during Romania's term at the Presidency at the Council of the European Union will be the citizen, stressing that the subjects of interest to be promoted during this mandate must be established through broad consensus."We want a Presidency centered on the citizen and his needs. We believe that, in the light of the European elections, but particularly of the construction of the European future, we need an EU project that is representative of the citizens' desires, and that we should try taking the subjects on the European agenda closer to the citizens," Negrescu told the event for the launch of debates within the Public consultation, communication and debate Forum for the preparation and carrying through of Romania's Presidency of the EU Council.
The Minister Delegate also said that three internal consultation stages have already been completed in the public system: the consultation of all ministries, of the members of the European Parliament, of the members of the European Economic and Social Committee, of the members of the European Committee of the Regions and of the representatives of the parliamentary committees on European affairs. The Minister mentioned that following these consultations, proposals had been set forth structured on thematic chapters, and that they will be raised for discussion between February 1 - March 1 in sector debate groups.
Negrescu also explained that initiatives have been launched that will allow Romanians from abroad to participate in the public consultation process.
"On the website tracking preparations for Romania's Presidency, which will debut in a few days in both Romanian and English, Romanians from outside the country will have the possibility to participate by filling out a questionnaire; those interested will be able to participate by our side, to join our teams as volunteers or as interns. (...) We must open the door to participation," Negrescu said.
The EU Affairs minister also spoke about the selection of the logo for the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council, following the vote of 10,000 citizens.
"We have an improved format of the logo, but on top of that, there's another interesting result, plus a message: because beyond aspects related to color, we are talking about a message. Do you know what the [underlying] message of our logo is? That a 14-15-year old has been given the chance to design the logo of Romania, the logo of Europe, the logo of the Presidency. Basically, we gave young people the chance to express themselves, to come up with a vision of their own. And, in particular, we sent a signal that education also counts in this process, of designing the future of Europe," Negrescu said, mentioning that the Romanians' positive view of the EU represents "value added."