Romania has officially joined the European Union back in January 2007. A moment that meant the world for the Romanian society, longed for decades during the suppression of the Communist era and greeted with great enthusiasm and high hopes by the people.
12 years later, for the first time Romania, takes over the presidency of one of the most important European institution – The European Union Council. The presidency of the Council rotates among the EU member states every 6 months. During this 6-month period, the presidency chairs meetings at every level in the Council, helping to ensure the continuity of the EU’s work in the Council. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the ability to plan, accommodate, manage, organize, chair and sustain a permanent dialog with the European institutions, stakeholders and counterparties.
The official opening ceremony of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union will take place this evening, 19:30 at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. The President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Junker along with Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament and Donald Tusk, President of the European Parliament who are now on an official visit to Bucharest are expected to give a speech. The evening will be crowned with the extraordinary performance of the Romanian Philharmonic – George Enescu – interpreting Rhapsody no. 1 by George Enescu and Beethoven’s famous No.9 Symphony –“Ode to Joy” also known as the European Union anthem.
The Romanian Athenaeum was designed by the French architect Albert Galleron and inaugurated on February 26, 1888. After the original patrons ran out of funds, the Atheneum project is built almost entirely with money raised through a public campaign called ‘Give a penny for the Atheneum’ (Dati un leu pentru Ateneu) donated by ordinary citizens. Therefore it is lawfully considered to be a symbol of the national culture, cohesion, and heritage.
The circular shape of the structure is rather unique. The façade is guarded, by 6 monumental 12 meters high columns, and the entire structure is overtopped by a monumental dome which rises to 41 meters above the ground level. Five medallions, each of them rendering the figure of a historical prince of the Romanian Principalities, decorate the peristyle. The auditorium can seat 800 spectators comfortably and is renowned worldwide for its outstanding acoustics. What a better place to host the official opening ceremony of investing the Romanian Presidency over the European Union Council?
The next 6 months will abunde of European Union meetings at all levels and Bucharest will be hosting the great majority of them. Hopefully, this will enable the European officials to squeeze a few hours in their schedules to delve into Bucharest’s historic and cultural scenery and feel the vibe of the ‘city of Joy’ (word by word translation of the capital’s name).
Should that be the case, the team here at Interesting Times Bureau, will be happy to assist.
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Find out more about the Romanian presidency of the of the European Union Council here.