Romania's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said that the country was ready to take over its term at the presidency of the EU Council starting January 1 and that preparations were under way according to schedule. The statement came after the Finnish Government said it was available to take over the leadership of the Council earlier, if requested by authorities in Bucharest. Helsinki took the stand after Romania's President questioned the readiness of the government to deal with the responsibilities of the EU Council presidency.
The Finnish public radio reported that the Finnish PM Juha Sipila had shown the availability of their country to take over the European-level job earlier, if called by authorities in Bucharest. Finland is scheduled to take over the EU Council presidency afer Romania, in mid-2019.
The Romanian ForMin said preparations were according to schedule.
The debate flared after Victor Negrescu, the man who has served as minister delegate for EU Affairs, made his intention to resign known last weekend. But an official announcement in this regard failed to be heard until Monday and was spelled clear on Tuesday. This prompted Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Monday to publicly doubt the readiness of the government for the EU Council presidency, calling the cabinet "an accident of democracy".
PM Vorica Dancila eventually nominated Foreign Ministry official George Ciamba as minister delegate for European Affairs. President Iohannis was quick to approve the nomination on Tuesday.
- Iohannis did not approve yet, though, the nomination of another minister in the Social Democratic (PSD)-led government on Tuesday, that of Ecaterina Andronescu at Education, postponing a decision in this regard and questioning the interests behind this nomination.