GERMANY 2007 - PRESIDENCY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
For the first time an 18-month programme for the three successive German, Portuguese and Slovenian Presidencies was elaborated for the period January 2007 to June 2008. It is the Council's official work programme for that period and was drawn up in close coordination with the Commission. The General Affairs and External Relations Council adopted the 18-month programme during its meeting on 11 December 2006.
This "team programme" is designed to increase continuity in the Council's work. The main themes of the programme are: the continuation of the EU reform and constitutional process, the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs, and the further completion of the common area of freedom, security and justice. The Presidencies regard the EU's sustainability strategy, renewed in 2006, as having a key function in shaping the various policy areas. Last but not least, the task is to intensify cooperation in the EU's joint foreign-policy activities. These include foreign and security policy, international trade relations and worldwide economic and development cooperation.
Message by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel
Welcome to the website of Germany's EU Council Presidency 2007.
The idea of European unification will mark its half century this year. There are good reasons to celebrate this special anniversary: peace, freedom, justice and democracy are things we now take for granted.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome I have invited my European colleagues to Berlin for an informal summit on 24 and 25 March. We will be celebrating the day the European Community's founding treaties were signed with a special ceremony as well as a street festival.
In a Berlin Declaration we will make clear that Europe's success story is founded on a shared understanding of European values. That is the source of Europe's strength. All of us must work together to ensure this guides our policies. That is why the motto we have chosen for our Council Presidency is: "Europe - succeeding together".
Of course we will be looking ahead, to the future as well. If Europe is to remain able to act, it needs a constitutional treaty. Here we are keen to make a contribution and will be consulting closely with our European partners in this connection. By the end of our Presidency we hope to have a road map showing how a constitutional treaty can become reality across Europe.
For the first time Germany is working with Portugal and Slovenia, the two subsequent Presidencies, as a so-called "team Presidency". Over the next eighteen months this will ensure the high degree of continuity that is essential if the challenges ahead are to be successfully tackled.
Europe can remain strong only if people feel they have a real future. Many ask themselves what benefits Europe brings them personally in terms of security and prosperity, they wonder if there is simply too much bureaucracy. We will do our best to answer your questions. Not just here on this website and at the street festival on 25 March, but also with the travelling roadshow I will be sending on its way at the same time. It is due to visit 52 German cities and is intended to help you find out more about what you want to know closer to home.
I for my part am greatly looking forward to our Council Presidency. And I invite you to be a part of this whole venture by learning more about it and sharing your views with us!Download the 18-month Programme of the German, Portuguese and Slovenian Presidencies.pdf (238.79 Kb)