The official inauguration ceremony of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU started Thursday evening, at the Romanian Athenaeum, in the presence of President Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, as well as European officials.
The event at the Romanian Athenaeum will host speeches from the President of Romania Klaus Iohannis, the President of the Senate, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, the Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Florin Iordache, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the Romanian Prime-Minister, Viorica Dancila.
Among the guests to the official ceremony are numerous political figures, members of the College of Commissars, members of the Diplomatic Corps, representatives of the religions of Romania and cultural personalities.
On the occasion of the event, the Athenaeum is lit in the colors of the Romanian flag.
After the official ceremony, the inaugural concert of the Orchestra of the European Union will follow, the orchestra being composed of musicians from the 28 EU member-states, but also Romanian artists known internationally, such as Adela Zaharia, Ruxandra Donose, Michael Konig, Sorin Coliban and the George Enescu Philharmonic Choir, coordinated by Ion Iosif Prunner.
The conductor of the concert will be Ion Marin.
The programme includes Rhapsody no. 1, op. 11 by George Enescu and the 9th Symphony, op. 125, "Ode to Joy" (the anthem of the European Union) by Ludwig van Beethoven.
Before the start of the official ceremony, the lobby of the Athenaeum saw the performance of the Madrigal-Marin Constantin National Choir and the Cantus Mundi children's choir. The artists performed on the grand staircase in the lobby.
Romania is exercising, between January 1 - June 30, the Rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time since the accession to the EU on January 1, 2007.
The motto of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU is "Cohesion, a common European value".
On June 30, Romania will hand over the Rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU to Finland.