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The Warsaw Voice » Other » July 9, 2008
France in Poland
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France's Priorities for EU Presidency
July 9, 2008   
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France took up the rotating, six-month presidency of the European Union July 1 with a strong commitment to serving Europe. The French presidency will be listening carefully to its partners so that, within the group of 27 countries, together we can bring about further development in Europe. France intends to exercise its presidency to serve the citizens of the EU. With this in mind, France has set itself several priorities.

A European energy policy and combating climate change is our first priority.

The French presidency has an ambition to bring Europe to political agreement in these two areas. These are the key components of a vision of Europe as a continent that sets an example to the rest of the world, allowing a strengthening of Europe's position as a driving force in international climate talks such as the Copenhagen Conference in 2009 and ahead of the important conference being held in Poznań in December 2008. It is important that France and Poland work together on these two areas and that they jointly steer Europe towards progress on a matter so crucial to the planet.

Our next priority concerns a new approach to immigration.

Europe is undergoing powerful demographic and economic transformation. This requires that the EU act more cohesively and that member states coordinate their activities towards asylum seekers, immigration policy, integration, combating illegal immigration and joint development. The presidency would like to see the EU adopt a pact on immigration and asylum. As the French president said during a recent speech in the lower house of the Polish parliament, an open Europe has to draw up common rules in response to the pressure of immigration.

European security and defense are our next priority.

Europe still does not have the necessary means to become a global player in international politics. The European security strategy, drawn up in 2003, therefore needs to be updated to meet new challenges. The ever increasing number of crises means the EU has to strengthen its military capabilities. Obviously, strengthening European security and defense policy will be carried out in a way that complements NATO operations as per the Treaty of Lisbon.`

We also place a great deal of emphasis on the Common Agricultural Policy.

Firstly, the Common Agricultural Policy will be reviewed and we hope that this will be completed by the end of the year. In our view, the EU needs to think about the future of this common policy. In the context of the food market, with its worsening imbalances and soaring prices, it is essential that Europe be able to determine certain joint Common Agricultural Policy principles to ensure a sufficient quantity of food for the EU and security of supplies for European consumers while at the same time allowing for the introduction of imperatives on the environment, sustainable development and economic geography.

French Embassy, Warsaw
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