Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
EU Presidency Trio Launch Joint Work Plan
Adjust font size:

Leaders of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia on Wednesday launched a joint work program for the three consecutive European Union (EU) presidencies in the next 18 months, saying it would improve the efficiency and continuity much-needed in the EU's business.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country holds the EU presidency, told a joint press conference that the trio presidency program, the first such program in the EU's history, would enable the 27-nation bloc to have a more coherent approach in handling both internal and external issues.

A six-month term for a EU presidency is too short to achieve major goals, she said, adding that shared efforts by the three countries in both devising and carrying out the plans will serve the EU's interest better.

Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa agreed with her, saying the program was "both ambitious and realistic."

Reviving the European constitution, stimulating the bloc's economy and creating jobs, as well as ensuring security and stability in the region and the world at large, will be the priorities of the trio, according to the leaders.

Socrates, whose country takes over the EU presidency in the second half of this year, said the trio has an "ambitious foreign policy agenda," intended to make the EU "more active on the world stage and speaking with a louder voice."

He listed three aspects which the EU trio would focus on: enhancing the EU's dialogues with Africa, Latin America, and with the southern Mediterranean and Middle East countries.

The EU-Africa summit, which will take place under the Portuguese presidency, will be an opportunity for the two sides to re-launch dialogue and together tackle the issues of migration and development, he said.

The EU would also like to hold better dialogues with Brazil, Mexico and other Latin American countries, he said.

Slovenia's Janez Jansa said his country will focus on completing the expansion of the Schengen area in early 2008, and take on a mid-term review of the Lisbon growth and employment agenda.

Further enlargement will also be a central theme of Slovenia's EU presidency, with strong emphasis on the Balkan region in particular.

The EU will respect its promises to the applying countries, but it is also crucial for these countries to fulfill all criteria, Jansa said.

The EU will continue the accession talks with Turkey and Croatia, but the trio presidency can not promise any date for entry talks for Macedonia, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 18, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
Quartet to Meet in Early February over Mideast
Challenges Remain as Germany Heads to Fix EU
Romania, Bulgaria Join EU Without Fanfare
EU Presidency Sees More Active Thinking on Constitution
Cyprus Issue Remains Major Block on Turkey's Path to EU Membership
EU to Partially Freeze Talks with Turkey
EU Constitution Impasse Lingers On
EU Leaders Agree to Put Constitution on Hold
EU Committed to Supporting African Integration Process

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © All Rights Reserved     E-mail: Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号