Monday, January 01, 2007

Germany Takes Over European Union Presidency

Germany takes over the Presidency of the European Union on January 1 for six months driving ambitions to set a "road map" and a "method" for adoption of the constitution. The charter was rejected by voters in France and the Netherlands in 2005 putting on halt the process of ratification across the bloc. However, there is wide support in the European Union for efforts to adopt a constitution in some form by 2009. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her government would focus on ways to resolve the constitution stalemate during its European Union Presidency to last until the end of June 2007.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Germany steps in the shoes of Presidency when the European Union is celebrating the entry of Romania and Bulgaria as new members, its economy is picking up and the union claims global leadership on issues like climate change. Angela Merkel also said Germany planned to emphasize job creation, and increasing economic competitiveness as well as a "change in mentality" to reduce bureaucracy. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said the German Presidency expects to spend a lot of energy responding to unforeseen crises on the European Union's behalf.