Romania is ready to take over the Presidency of the EU Council and, through his statements, Klaus Iohannis “profoundly damages” the interest of our country, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila stated on Tuesday evening. When asked on Antena 3 private television station whether or not Romania is ready to take over the Presidency of the EU Council in the context of the Finnish PM’s statements, who offered for his country to take over the rotating Presidency instead of Romania, following President Klaus Iohannis’s statements, Dancila responded: “It was to be expected that following Mr President Klaus Iohannis’s statements we would have this type of effects. Romania is certainly ready to take over the Presidency of the EU Council. Romania’s Government is well prepared and this thing is even known by President Iohannis, because we have an inter-ministerial committee for the Presidency of the EU Council, which meetings were attended by representatives of the Presidential Administration.” Moreover, the PM added having met the head of state in order to explain him the stage of the preparation for the Presidency. “Even the Secretary General of the European Commission said that Romania is ready to take over the rotating Presidency,” Dancila added. The PM also provided some elements, for the first time, related to the programme of actions that are to be carried out during Romania’s mandate. “The entire programme of actions is completed. During Romania’s mandate there will be over 1,000 formal and informal meetings in Brussels, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, therefore, there will be seven meetings and discussions each day during Romania’s Presidency of the EU Council. We will have a multitude of formal and informal events organised in Romania. The essential benchmarks for the heads of state and government meetings in Sibiu on 9 May 2019 have been defined. I can say that the actual programme of the Summit started, the accreditation system is completed, the website is ready, the people in charge with the events and protocols established, the interinstitutional network of communicators is formed and trained,” Dancila mentioned. The PM also added that Romania has selected and prepared “an army of professionals who will ensure the necessary human resource.” “There are 279 presidents and vice-presidents of working groups, 342 coordinators, 800 file experts. There have been supplemented by 132 the offices at Romania’s Representation to the EU. There are just some figures that show the seriousness of the takeover of the Presidency and the fact that we are ready and able to take over the rotating Presidency. Moreover, Romania currently exercises the “shadow Presidency” during the Austrian Presidency. This thing will allow an easy transition from the Austrian Presidency to the rotating Presidency which Romania will hold, as of 1 January 2019,” Dancila stated. In respect to the message that the Finnish PM would convey regarding his country’s proposal, the PM stated: “We definitely reject this thing, in fact, we saw that Finland also understood that Romania is ready and that we can successfully manage the rotating Presidency that we are to take over on 1 January 2019.” When asked if she finds inappropriate President Klaus Iohannis’s statements regarding the fact that Romania is not ready for the Presidency of the EU Council, Dancila replied: “Through such statements, through such words prompting people to overturn the government, Mr President Iohannis profoundly damages Romania’s interests.” “I respect the Presidential institution, as I respect all state institutions. You’ve seen that I am a firm and total supporter of a good co-operation, but I find myself obligated to reject and even condemn such a destructive attitude of the President of Romania. I wonder what Mr President wants, anarchy, political instability? Because I believe that this can be achieved only when (…) coming up with such statements, which bring a negative image not only inside Romania, but it is also taken over abroad,” Dancila said. Finland’s PM Juha Sipila announced on Tuesday that his Government raised its readiness in the event of a possible request of Romania to swap the order of taking over the Presidency of the EU Council of next year, but mentioned that no such request was made, the Yle public radio-television announced. PM Sipila stated that Romania’s political tensions won’t affect the calendar of the Presidency of the EU Council. He told the STT news agency that Romania has no intention to postpone its six-month term of the Presidency of the EU Council. In the first semester of 2019, this position is to be taken over by Romania, and, in the second semester, by Finland. On Monday President Klaus Iohannis argued that the Government in Bucharest is not ready to ensure the Presidency of the Council of the EU.