"[French] President [Nicholas] Sarkozy has shown how important and useful for all it is to have a strong and stable leadership for the Union," argue the contributors to a European Policy Centre (EPC) commentary on the outcome of the outgoing French EU Presidency.
My full answers to some questions from a French newspaper for an article due to appear tomorrow, as France’s time at the EU helm draws to a close.
(And no, I never heard another word about the “bloggers panel” that the French Ambassador’s press office approached me about back in the summer, in case you were wondering. Such a panel would, however, be a very good idea for the EU – its web presence and PR strategy remains truly dire… They could learn a thing or two from the likes of us. My consultancy rate is a very reasonable £50 an hour.)
The integration of citizens of foreign origin in Europe is growing in importance. But many countries are still having difficulties coping with increased geographic mobility. Europe’s press discusses the problem and the solutions being proposed.
MEPs and other leading European politicians offered their reviews of France’s performance at the EU helm at the end of its six-month presidency, during which Nicolas Sarkozy oversaw European responses to a number of global crises and at last week’s European summit secured an agreement on a key climate change package to curb emissions.
The French EU Presidency has been putting substantial effort into overcoming Slovenia’s opposition to opening new chapters of EU accession talks with Croatia over a border dispute. But his mediation attempts proved inconclusive.
I’ve been rather busy this week, so have only just realised that The Economist’s superb EU-focussed blog Certain Ideas of Europe is – for reasons unknown – being cancelled.
European journalism comes face to face with the European elections: a lack of interest, problems and solutions discussed during a meeting of Spanish women journalists in Cadiz
I have questions, but no answers.
Source: European Commission Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs
From the Executive Summary:
Building on strong growth in 2006, the gross domestic product (GDP) in the European Union (EU) continued to expand at a solid rate, averaging 2.9% in 2007 as a whole, compared with 3.1% in 2006. Nevertheless, towards the end of 2007 growth started to slow down following the turmoil in financial markets and soaring commodity and energy prices.