The Belgian presidency of the Council has started, and it has published its six-month programme. The objectives and priorities are:
- a return to maintained, sustainable and balanced growth throughout the European Union;
- fulfilling the objectives of the EU 2020 strategy;
- a new regulatory and supervisory structure for the financial sector;
- green jobs and white jobs (health and social services jobs);
- objectives and performance indicators for social protection, social inclusion, pensions and healthcare;
- negotiations for a European patent;
- guidelines for better coordination of Member States’ policy for research, development and innovation;
- securing the energy supply;
- agreement on European legislation which would allow Member States to recover the external costs generated by road transport from users;
- establishing a single asylum procedure and a uniform international protection statute by 2012
- fight against terrorism, organised crime, illegal immigration and human trafficking;
- legal migration will also be a priority for the Presidency.
Interestingly, the program uses the motto “Let’s put Europe back into action!”. I wonder if this has anything to do with the outgoing Spanish presidency.