By Ana Maria Luca
Romania’s EU Affairs minister and coordinator of the EU Council presidency preparations resigned after a cabinet meeting, the country’s government confirmed on Saturday.
Romanian Minister Delegate for European Affairs Victor Negrescu handed in his resignation less than two months before his country is set to take over the European Council six-month rotating presidency on January 1, 2019, ahead of Brexit and the European elections.
According to various government sources who spoke to the media on condition of anonymity on Saturday, Negrescu resigned after a very tense cabinet meeting on Friday where ministers discussed how ready Romania is to handle the EU Council Presidency.
Romania is to take over the EU presidency from Austria.
Negrescu was in charge of coordinating the EU Council presidency preparations. He could not be reached for comment.
Minister for European Funds Rovana Plumb confirmed Negrescu’s move for news channel Digi 24 on Saturday.
“I understand that this resignation has happened. Yesterday, during the government meeting I spoke to Mr. Negrescu, we talked about how ready we are in principle to take over the EU Council presidency,” she said.
Finance minister Eugen Teodorovici also confirmed Negrescu’s move. “It’s an act I do not understand. To do this when you have a unique chance to coordinate such a presidency reveals political immaturity, he said on Saturday.
Negrescu, 33, was appointed as the Minister Delegate for European Affairs under the Romanian Foreign Ministry in June 2017. He was an MEP during 2014-2017.
He is a member of the ruling Social Democrat Party and also the national coordinator of the Romanian network of the European Socialist Party.