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EU leaders meet for last summit of Spanish presidency

June 17, 2010 - BRUSSELS

The June European Union summit represents a useful point to evaluate the Lisbon Treaty-mandated changes in the bloc. Six months into the new system, there are obvious questions. Has there been any movement on issues that concern all 27 EU members? Has the rotating president, Spain, been able to press its own agenda? Madrid's to-do list includes urging the establishment of a Palestinian state. Are two presidents at the EU helm better than one? The arrangement is seen as ripe for turf wars.

The June European Union summit represents a useful point to evaluate the Lisbon Treaty-mandated changes in the bloc. Six months into the new system, there are obvious questions. Has there been any movement on issues that concern all 27 EU members? Has the rotating president, Spain, been able to press its own agenda? Madrid's to-do list includes urging the establishment of a Palestinian state. Are two presidents at the EU helm better than one? The arrangement is seen as ripe for turf wars. And Madrid wants to have financial supervision laws approved during its presidency, which runs to 30 Jun. Miguel Moratinos, the country's foreign minister, said on Dec 18 that Madrid sees the foundation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel as one of its main priorities under its six-month helmsmanship. He added that the Spanish presidency is to step up the bloc's diplomacy under its EU watch, aiming to breathe new life into the long-foundered peace talks. The overall issues for the bloc are the responsibility of new EU president, Herman Van Rompuy. The biggest of these are the same ones that faced the 27 EU members at the Spring summit: the 10-year EU economic plan, the bloc's financial crisis, climate change mitigation and terrorism risks. The 27 are divided over the bloc's pledge to raise its CO2 commitment up to a 30 per cent cut by 2020 in the wake of the Copenhagen UN climate summit debacle. And the June EU summit is usually the one where the leaders review the EU aspirants' progress in meeting bloc membership requirements. The thorniest issue before them is Turkey's aspirations for EU membership.

Europa

Spanish presidency to set precedents (EurActiv 9 Dec 2009)

EU to work for Palestinian state in 2010: Spain (EU Business 18 Dec 2010)

Date written/update: 2010-06-17