Priorities of the Spanish Presidency to the EU

8 December 2009

Diego López Garrido, Secretary of State for EU Affairs, said the Spanish EU Presidency has a unique role as it occurs during the transitional period between the old ‘Nice’ and the new ‘Lisbon’ EU institutional structure.

Its first priority is to draw up the new ‘2020’ economic strategy, set up measures to supervise Europe’s financial systems, and instigate an energy action plan.

The second is to lay the ground rules for implementing the Lisbon Treaty. The Presidency wants to get the ‘citizens’ initiative’, working, put in place the European Convention on Human Rights, and the ‘solidarity clause’, which states that Member States will support each other in the face of a natural or man-made disaster.

Thirdly, the Presidency wants to “close the gap between Europe and the people”, using a more ambitious social agenda, and implementing the Stockholm Programme for freedom, security and justice. It also wants a non-discrimination directive to address violence against women.

Lastly, instruments in the Lisbon Treaty should be used to create an external and defence policy that makes the EU a real global player, and he hoped the structure and organisation for the EU ‘diplomatic service’: European External Action Service, would be approved by April 2010.

This is an ambitious presidency with audacious targets, he finished.