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Watch: Ceremony marks start of Romania's EU presidency

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By Emma Beswick  with Reuters
Watch: Ceremony marks start of Romania's EU presidency
Copyright  Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS

A ceremony Thursday took place to mark the start of Romania's stint at the helm of the Council of the European Union presidency, which runs from January 1 - June 30, 2019.

In its first stint at the helm of the EU, Romania faces Brexit, due to happen in March, European Parliament elections in May and tough talks on the next long-term EU budget.

The country's foreign minister said on Thursday that political divisions would not impede the six-month presidency.

But the second-poorest EU country, which joined in 2007, is politically divided ahead of the European elections and its own presidential polls towards the end of the year. It is also under EU scrutiny over corruption and concerns about the rule of law.

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.

You can watch the ceremony at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest live in the above video player.