Czech, France, Sweden agree on joint EU presidency

May 28th, 2008 - 2:24 pm ICT by admin  

Prague, May 28 (Xinhua) The Czech Republic, France and Sweden have agreed on a joint 18-month programme for European Union (EU) presidency, senior officials of the three countries said. In general terms, the programme defines the route on which the EU will embark between this July and the end of 2009, during which France, the Czech Republic and Sweden will hold the EU presidency, officials said Tuesday.

An important issue of all three presidencies would be energy and climate, they said.

Swedish EU Minister Cecilia Malmstroem said the presidencies would emphasise a competitive economy, migration policy, relations between neighbours and the EU as a global power.

Sweden is to reach a joint EU position on climate before a conference in Copenhagen and find agreement with China and the US on the issue.

Czech Deputy Prime Minister for EU Affairs Alexandr Vondra said the programme should focus on reforms as well as continuity in the EU.

He said the energy strategy plan is to be completed during the Czech EU presidency.

“Today’s symbolical expression of an agreement on the joint document is proof that our cooperation is very good and bears joint fruit,” Vondra said, adding that by the time of Czech EU presidency in the first six months of 2009, the strategic energy plan would have to be completed.

The joint 18-month document consists of two main parts of the “strategic framework” and an operational programme, which includes the majority of the document and is divided into 17 chapters.

They include the development of the EU, the energy and climate policies, growth and employment, general economic issues, competitiveness, gender equality, research and innovations, health and consumers, culture, sustainable development, environment, transport, agriculture and fishing, besides others.

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