From January until June 2019, Romania will hold the Presidency of the Council of the EU. During this 6-month period, the presidency chairs meetings at every level in the Council, aiming to set goals, prepare a common agenda determining the major topics and issues to be addressed, as well as helping Member States come to final agreements and compromises. Romania’s presidency intersects with the finalisation of a number of important policy issues, significant political events (Brexit), as well as the upcoming European Parliament election in May. Indeed, over the next 5 months, the future multiannual financial framework (the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027) which includes Horizon Europe, will be a significant focus of debate. Romania has set out a number of priorities: promoting research and innovation, digitalisation, internal security, EU defence capabilities, and a push for greater common values in terms of democracy, equal opportunities, and human dignity. Romanian ministers have predicted that the finalisation of the EU budget agreement will be a difficult challenge but have also vowed to represent eastern, western, northern and southern Europe in order to achieve a final agreement before the May elections. Science Business analyses the situation.