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Monday, February 4, 2008

The programme of our new, Slovenian presidency

Slovenia outlines 'demanding' EU presidency programme

9 January 2008

Ensuring the smooth ratification of the EU's new Reform Treaty, pushing ahead with ambitious energy and climate goals and stabilising the Western Balkan region, notably through the prospect of EU accession, will be among the top priorities for Slovenia as it takes over the reins of the 27-country bloc for the coming six months.

According to Prime Minister Janez Janša, Slovenia's presidency will seek to ensure the smooth ratification of the recently-signed Lisbon Treaty so that it can enter into force by January 2009, ahead of European Parliament elections. Janša urged member states to weigh up carefully which path they choose for ratification, as a number of countries, including Portugal, which handed over the rotating EU Presidency to Slovenia on 1st January, are still considering holding potentially risky referenda on the document (EurActiv 14/12/07).

Aside from this, the Slovenian Presidency will also be working hard with the Commission to finalise the energy-climate package, including the details of how to share out the burden among member states for implementing the EU's goals in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and raising the share of renewable energy (EurActiv 10/12/07).

The prime minister also said that his country would work towards fully implementing the objectives of the last three-year cycle of Europe's Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs, but cautioned that the European economy is likely to face a rougher ride in 2008 than in 2007, notably following the financial market turmoil that followed the US sub-prime mortgage crisis this summer (EurActiv 10/10/07).

In terms of foreign policy, the future of the Western Balkans was high on the agenda, with Slovenia stressing its commitment to helping countries in the region join the EU. "We need to find solutions that will stabilise the region in the long term," Janša said.

Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel also said he believed Serbia should sign a pre-membership pact as soon as possible. But the Commission and other EU members object to signing any agreement until Serbia cooperates fully with the UN war crimes tribunal and extradites former war criminals such as Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander wanted on genocide charges (EurActiv 7/11/07). source

My comment: It sound pretty decent to me. Well, I don't put too much faith on the Western Balkans, but it's worth to try. Who knows...Especially with the new old Serbian President-Tadic.

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