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Trial and … lessons of cooperation

Alica Árvay
January 17, 2011

The Secretaries of State for EU Affairs of the EU trio presidencies – Spain, Belgium, Hungary – presented an evaluation of their joint efforts aimed at the smooth transition between the presidencies.

The Secretaries of State for EU Affairs of the EU trio presidencies – Diego López Garrido of Spain, Olivier Chastel of Belgiun and Enikõ Gyõri of Hungary– presented an evaluation of their joint efforts aimed at the smooth transition between the presidencies. Although, the real handing-over-tasks period has spanned 18 months, the state secretaries have only held regular meeting since this January.

The host, Enikõ Gyõri claimed 'Hungary already set an example of cooperation within the Spanish-Belgian-Hungarian trio. The establishment of the economic union and defense of the euro, as well as the increase of budgetary discipline are the pivotal tasks. The Roma strategy and the Danube strategy enjoy special attention because Hungary would intend to bring to closure negotiations and finalize agreements on that. The issue of EU institutions shall not be neglected. Regarding the accession of Croatia, an important issue for Hungary, the Belgian EU presidency carried out an enormously efficient work in just three months. Thus, the Croatia’s accession negotiations are in an advanced stage.

Diego López Garrido emphasized the following points: it is critical to develop proper financial measures and unified foreign policy of the EU countries. All measures must be used to make sure these serve the interest of all European citizens. It is important not to lose sight of social issues like violence against women. In Spain, a woman is killed every third day and usually, the perpetrator is the husband. The EU should take unified action to defend women, he said. The other topics he mentioned were multi-pluralism, innovation as well as water resources and management.

Belgium’s representative, Olivier Chastel was of the view that ‘the efficiency of a team is as good as the contribution of its members’ and the 18 months of preparation of trio presidencies have been efficient. He said the key word of the joint program was ‘continuity’ and this work has actually paved the way for new legislative practice regarding the trio presidency by establishing a new formula of presidencies. He claimed that the Hungarian government has taken on tons of important issues from the Spanish and the Belgian presidencies – issues to bring the EU close to its citizens. He added that 'the Hungarian Government seems to be able to tackle all challenges’ but – at the same time - he suggested that ‘Hungary should heed the advice of the more experienced members of  the presidencies’.

 

 

 

Alica Árvay

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