As the European institutions get back to work after the end-of-year holidays, Europolitics takes a look at the issues on the agenda for the next six months.


The Slovenian EU Presidency went to work on 1 January and will remain at the helm until 30 June. Its priorities will be integration of the Western Balkans, ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon, the energy/climate package, the Lisbon Strategy, enlargement of the Schengen area and intercultural dialogue. The European Commission has scheduled a meeting on 8 January in Brdo to meet the Slovenian government headed by Prime Minister Janez Jan a (Slovenian Democratic Party, centre-right).

Ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon will continue during the first half of 2008 (the Hungarian and Brussels Capital Region parliaments ratified the text in December). The Slovenian Presidency will set an example by ratifying the text in late January or early February. In France, which will succeed Slovenia in the EU Presidency, the parliament will be voting on 6 and 7 February. Simultaneously with the ratification process, the Presidency will also begin preparing the implementation of the treaty (see Europolitics 3441).

More generally, the member states are expected to decide, at the March European Council, the composition of the future reflection group charged with analysing the future of Europe to 2020-2030. At the December summit under the Portuguese EU Presidency, former Prime Minister of Spain Felipe Gonzalez was named to head the group. He will be assisted by two vice-presidents, the former Head of State of Latvia, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, and the former Chairman of Nokia [the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer], Jorma Ollila. The three will propose to the spring European Council the names of the six other wise men'. The group will begin its work in the latter half of 2008 and will issue its conclusions in 2010. It will not address institutional or budget issues, or the matter of the EU's borders.


Plan D, the brainchild of Vice-President for Institutional Affairs Margot Wallstrom, is expected to be made permanent and to be given a new name, to avoid references to the French and Dutch rejection of the draft Constitution in 2005. The former Plan D will focus on communication on the Treaty of Lisbon. On 27 February, the Commission will present "new proposals to nurture and expand the European debate through the process of ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon and as part of the campaign for...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT