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Inauguration ceremony of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU

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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.

On this occasion, President Klaus Iohannis said that through the Presidency of the Council of the European Union Romania takes over a forefront role on a European level, emphasising that the main objective of Romania's mandate is the consolidation of a more cohesive, more united and stronger Europe.

"12 years since the accession to the European Union, Romania takes over a forefront role on a European level. If we look back a bit, our country's comeback to the European family represented an especially important desideratum, for which we made all efforts on a national level and for which we all worked with devotion and professionalism, having the firm conviction that the European project is a unique construction worldwide of peace and prosperity and the only way to ensure the common progress of the European states. Today, with the same conviction, we are taking over the exercise of the presidency of the Council of the European Union, with the main objective of contributing to the consolidation of a more cohesive, more united and stronger Europe," Iohannis said in the speech delivered to the official ceremony opening Romania's Presidency at the Council of the European Union.
Among the guests to the official ceremony were 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 was 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 was Ion Marin.

The programme included 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.

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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.   

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