PositionEuropean Union meeting

Organisation of Council activities.In common with what the Belgian Presidency plans to do during each General Affairs Council, the Ministers will take note of the status of the most important issues now under discussion in other Council meetings. Belgium wants the General Affairs Council to resume its task of ensuring the multisectoral co-ordination of the activities of all the various Councils so as to ensure they are compatible with the EU's general aimsSequel to Gothenburg.The Council will consider the three key themes surrounding the follow-up to the EU Summit in Gothenburg in the light of information supplied by the Presidency: contacts under way with international partners to discuss the Kyoto Protocol (see separate article in Section V), procedures for planning a dialogue with anti-globalisation groups, in the wake of the July 13 special Justice and Home Affairs Council (separate article in Section IV), the planning and sharing of work to do with the EU sustainable development strategy, an issue for which the Presidency is to issue a document shortly on task-sharing on a European scale.Enlargement.The Presidency will present it work programme on enlargement, under the terms of which it plans to stick to the steady pace of membership negotiations as part of the continuous progress achieved under earlier Presidencies. The Belgians are also planing to stage three series of deputy-level conferences with candidate countries for which chapters may be considered: July 27, October 25/26 and November 27/28. The Ministerial-level membership conference is scheduled for December 11/12, 2001. Belgium is to adopt a determined approach to applying the road map and stick to the two key strategies: applying the principle of differentiation between candidate countries and the need for the countries in question to adopt EU legislation in an appropriate manner.Connecting with EU citizens.An initial debate is scheduled on helping the EU to get into closer contact with citizens. The Presidency has suggested a few lines of inquiry: how do the Member States regard the expectations and disappointments of their citizens in relation to the EU? How can their needs be catered for? How is the best way to answer the questions "why" and explain the major European issues? How can the EU ensure its debates have more relevance to the public at large and not just to the inner circle?Africa.The Council will consider the situation in the Great Lakes region, in the light...

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