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January, 2007 - Nr. 1


The Editor
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10th K-W Christkindl Market
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German EU Presidency
K-W & Beyond
Dick reports...
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The German EU Presidency:

Promoting Peace, Economic Growth and the European Constitutional Process

TWIG - Germany takes over the rotating six-month EU presidency from Finland on January 1, and Chancellor Angela Merkel outlined three key priority areas during a recent interview with public broadcaster ZDF: strengthening Europe’s economy, promoting peace and justice and pressing ahead with a new plan for the European Constitutional Treaty.

These three overarching goals will be pursued longer term in a new "three presidencies" format with Portugal and Slovenia, the two EU member states taking over the reins of the presidency after Germany. This will awaken more "trust and reliability", Merkel said ahead of a two-day EU summit in Brussels.

As Europe’s biggest economy, Germany will strive during its presidency to push forward the so-called Lisbon Strategy to boost Europe’s competitiveness through key reforms. Merkel said she was particularly pleased that Germany can draw on its own current high economic growth rates in the process.

The chancellor moreover stressed that energy policy will be high on Germany’s agenda, including creating a common European gas and electricity market. In addition, the EU must be at the vanguard on energy technology and climate change. Negotiating the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol will be of primary importance for Germany.

Merkel also recalled that the EU, which turns 50 next March, was created to maintain peace based on common values, including freedom, justice, democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

At the same time, Germany aims to further the constitutional process. Europe officially entered "a period of reflection" after the draft EU constitution was rejected in 2005 by France and the Netherlands in two referenda. Merkel underscored the need for deepening dialogue on this European Constitutional Treaty to move ahead together in Europe.

"We need a constitutional treaty for Europe," she reiterated in a policy statement made in parliament. "It will be our task during our presidency to devise a plan on how to move forward."
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


Merkel Calls for Unity in Support of Germany’s Double Presidency (federal government statement)

Europe Will Succeed if We Work Together (summary of agenda for Germany’s EU presidency)

Germany in Europe - Looking Ahead to Germany’s EU Presidency

Preliminary website of the German EU presidency

German G8 Presidency

The Federal Government’s New European Portal

Delegation of the European Commission to the USA

The Council of the European Union

The draft EU Constitution (official site)

More about the EU Constitution

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