Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-086"

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"It is of historical significance that a new Member State that joined the Union in 2004 is leading it in the first half of 2008. This is a major step forward in the recently acceded countries taking the places they deserve at the Union table. There is a huge amount at stake for the first Presidency from one of the new Member States, and Slovenia is leading the Union at a key time. The most important duties of the Slovenian Presidency are helping with the ratification process for the Lisbon Treaty, dynamically setting in motion the new three-year cycle for the Lisbon Strategy and continuing to develop the integrated energy and climate protection policy. The Slovenian Presidency is handling the integration of the Western Balkans, especially the question of Kosovo’s future status, as a priority. Slovenia’s sensitivity and knowledge of the region may make the complicated organisation process a little easier and promote preservation of the unity achieved by the European Council of December 2007 with regard to the missions to be sent to Kosovo. In March, during the Slovenian Presidency, the European Commission will propose legislation for a health check on the Common Agricultural Policy, which will be the overture to comprehensive conceptual and funding reforms for the CAP. The Presidency will also emphasise programmes for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in 2008. We are cheering on our Slovenian friends, so that they have a successful Presidency. I am sure that the Slovenian policies and diplomacy will successfully solve the difficult tasks, and that, as a new Member State, we can be proud of our neighbour."@en1

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