PositionEuroepan Union

Attention is naturally focused this week on how the summit will respond to Turkey's EU aspirations. But this is only one of the many issues the European Union has to address.

As 2004 draws to a close, some reminders of the bigger EU picture are emerging. One comes from Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who this week offered his view of the EU's strategic objectives to the European Parliament. Another is the joint work programme for 2005 being put together by the incoming EU Presidencies, Luxembourg and UK.

The Presidencies' programme is inevitably something of a shopping list, conditioned by progress to date on issues ranging from the Lisbon Strategy to the review of the EU's Stability and Growth Pact, and from the Community patent to a planned directive on electromagnetic compatibility.

But it aims further too, with its views on longer-term projects: not just the EU's spending plans for the next seven years, but more complex ambitions for tightening the EU's external borders, fighting terrorism, or strengthening global stability and prosperity. As it recognises, continuity across Presidencies is increasingly important.

Barroso has been even more selective, deferring until late January the announcement of his programme for meeting...

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