Spanish Presidency of the EU
Friday 01 January 2010
On 1 January, Spain took over the Presidency of the EU from Sweden.
This Presidency coincides with the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon which opens up a new period with a legal framework to build a stronger, more united and more efficient Europe to respond to citizens’ concerns.
Under the motto ‘Innovating Europe’, the Presidency will endeavour to consolidate the economic recovery and turn Europe into a true global player in the international sphere.
The 4 Presidency priorities are :
- the full implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon,
- the coordination of economic policies to promote recovery and sustainable growth throughout Europe: launching of Europe 2020,
- strengthening of the European Union’s foreign policy to turn it into a real global player,
- fostering a Europe of rights and freedoms at the service of citizens.
Of interest to Alzheimer Europe and its members, under the heading ‘A Europe of rights and freedoms, a Europe for all citizens’, various initiatives will be implemented :
- A more democratic Europe with the participation of its citizens – the legislative initiative : Member State citizens may urge the Commission to formulate legislative proposals on matters they consider should be regulated at European level. The Spanish Presidency will promote the approval by the European Parliament and the Council of a regulation establishing the conditions and procedures required to channel this initiative.
- The Charter of Fundamental Rights : The Treaty of Lisbon incorporates the Charter of Fundamental Rights, establishing its legally binding nature.
- Accession to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms : to put Europe at the forefront in the defence and promotion of human rights, the Presidency will begin the EU accession process to the Council of Europe’s European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
- Reinforcing Europe’s social dimension : within a context of economic crisis that tests the social cohesion and the welfare achieved by European societies, the Union should be a guarantee of protection for its citizens. The Communication the Commission will submit on the new 2011-2015 European Social Agenda will complement the content of the EU 2020 Strategy, incorporating social protection, inclusion and integration.
These priorities are framed within the Trio of Presidency consisting of Spain, Belgium and Hungary and will continue the work developed by Sweden.
Other initiatives will include :
- Social and demographic changes have major implications for social protection systems. Joint work to set forth common objectives, established within the framework of the open coordination method, will be promoted. A White Paper on Ageing in Europe and a European Active Ageing Programme should be published.
- European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity : the Presidency will submit to the Commission and the Member States the conclusions drawn at the European Forum of Social Tourism held in Spain, gathering the support to the Commission’s decision of declaring 2012 as the European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity.
- Public health innovation : the Presidency will promote e-health, will foster patients’ quality and security improvement initiatives and the work conducted by the High Level Public Health Group.
- Research : the Presidency will move ahead in the development of the European Research Area (ERA), proposing short and medium-term policies to further coordination amongst the various bodies involved. The initiative will address partnership, European research infrastructures, joint programming in research areas of special interest and improved ERA governance and follow-up. Progress will also be made on aspects related to research centres excellence and universities modernisation.
21 January : Conference on Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, Madrid
15-18 March : e-Health Conference, Barcelona
19-20 March :Conference on Ageing, Logroño