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Spain's & Belgium's 6-mo. Presidencies, 2010

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:36 pm
by nonymouse
Dear Farmer,

Would appreciate your thoughts regarding the following; it had been thought that Spain holding the 6-mo. rotating EU presidency from 1/1/10 to 6/30/10 and Belgium holding same from 7/1/10 to 12/31/10 might be significant (being the mid-point of the 7-year ENP/ENPI).

However, the Lisbon Treaty provides for a largely ceremonial EU president (with a max. term of 5 years) to replace the 6-mo. presidency (the "Final Act" document seems to allow for their assumption of office as early as 1/1/09, in case of non-ratification of the treaty).

Do you think the above eliminates any significance attached Spain's and Belgium's presidencies in 2010.



PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:57 am
by farmer
Thanks Nony,

No, I do not think it eleminates the significancy,
as it looks like the candidate in the
new president's position will be the face of the presidency (of the European Council),

BUT in the same time, the EU-ministerial meetings
and lso the EU-summits
will continue to be held in a different country every half year,
related to the original plan and sequence order.
Because what stays is the half-year Presidency of the Council of the European Union ... pean_Union
which is NOT the European Council. ... an_Council

The names are confusing similar (I think they did it by intend)
The European Council was until now not even an institution,
it was the name for the summits where the leaders (countries presidents and PMs) drank
champaign and decided on the EU basic directions.

As you know, the new really new difference is, that then, when everything goes as foreseen, the FM of the certain "half-year-country" has no longer a voice, as he had before (see for example Spain FM Solana in 2/1995 or FM Steinmeier in 1/2007) as he gives then that authority completly over, (same can be said about the Commissioner for Foreign Policy), to the EU-HR (now Solana).

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:03 am
by nonymouse
Thanks, Farmer. It certainly does look as though the whole EU system was designed to create confusion (and we know who the "author of confusion" is, don't we).

So what would be your explanation for the following section of the "Final Act" dated 12/3/07:

Section 3
Entry into force
Article 7

8. Declaration on practical measures to be taken upon the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon as regards the Presidency of the European Council and of the Foreign Affairs Council

In the event that the Treaty of Lisbon enters into force later than 1 January 2009, the Conference requests the competent authorities of the Member State holding the six-monthly Presidency of the Council at that time, on the one hand, and the person elected President of the European Council and the person appointed High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on the other hand, to take the necessary specific measures, in consultation with the following six-monthly Presidency, to allow an efficient handover of the material and organisational aspects of the Presidency of the European Council and of the Foreign Affairs Council.


Imho, it look like a provision for the complete circumvention of the 6-mo. presidency by the HR, possibly as soon as 1/1/09 (even though agree that there is every likelihood that Spain's and Belgium's 6-mo. presidencies in 2010 remain significant).


PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:11 am
by nonymouse
P.S. Would it be more of a symbolic takeover (a precursor of things to come, in case the Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by 1/1/09)?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:20 pm
by farmer
Until now the country with the 6 month "(ministerial)Council"-presidency was also giving the what is now called "President" of the "European Council(the EU summits)" in form of their head of State.
This function goes now to a conitinious president.
But that does not mean that they loose the 6month presidency of the (ministerial)Council.

So in case of treaty ratified and in power at 1.1.09 they (former 6 month presidency, new elected President of European Council(EUsummit), HR for CFSP, and the following 6 month presidency) will have to meet and to talk who has to get which materials and to hand it over.
So the materials for the EU-Summits go from head of State of old 6monthscountry to new President of the European Council, the material from FM of State of old6monthcountry to HR for CFSP, the rest of material (the other ministerial affairs) goes to the next 6monthcountry.
I cannot imagine that all EU-summits will from then on be held in the new President's home country, but rather in the next "6 months country", with an office for the new President there and also one in Brussels.
That's how I see it.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:24 am
by nonymouse
Thanks, Farmer.

But why the stipulation "In the event that the Treaty of Lisbon enters into force later than 1 January 2009..." before the handover clause?

(Please forgive me if I am "missing the boat," so to speak.)


PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 11:21 am
by farmer
In this case there would be a President from the actual 6-months-country presiding over a not-yet-institutionalized European Council, (as it is today) and then when the point of entering into force arrives, they would have to meet and speak about the changing of the guards. That's how I see it, but maybe it's me who overlooks something now...

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 12:50 pm
by nonymouse
Thanks, Farmer (your opinion is always highly regarded).