The German Government have published a programme for their presidency that details the areas that they intend to cover. An 18-month programme for the three successive German, Portuguese and Slovenian presidencies has also been published for the first time. Both of these documents are available at the following website:
A White Paper on Prospects for the EU in 2007 and an Explanatory Memorandum regarding the 18-month programme will be laid in the House shortly, and will give more details of the Government’s approach.
The spring European Council in March is likely to focus on climate and energy security and the Better Regulation agenda. There will also be discussion regarding the single market and economic reform, as well as a range of other issues. In June, the presidency will present a report to the European Council assessing the state of discussions on the future of Europe, according to the conclusions of the June 2006 European Council. Portugal is expected to continue this work under its presidency. The Portuguese will also focus on other priorities at the December European Council in line with the 18-month programme. Further details will be made available in the White Paper on Prospects for the EU in 2007.
The German presidency will build on the work agreed under previous presidencies to ensure that the EU’s policies and actions on external relations are focused, effective and coherent. The programme at the General Affairs and External Relations Councils will in part be dependent on external developments, but we anticipate that a broad range of foreign policy issues will be discussed, including Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. Portugal will continue this approach under its presidency. Further details will be made available in the White Paper on Prospects for the EU in 2007.
Under the German presidency, the spring European Council will take place in Brussels on 8 and 9 March, with the June European Council due to take place on 21 and 22 June. An Informal Meeting of Heads of State and Government will also take place in Berlin on 25 March, to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome. The Portuguese presidency is set to host an Informal Meeting of Heads and Government on 18 and 19 October, with the December European Council due to take place on 13 and 14 December.