Energy and climate-change ‘top German priorities’

In a special cabinet meeting on Sunday 5 November, the German government has defined the priorities for its EU Presidency, starting on 1 January 2007.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers confirmed their support for the EU draft Constitution in a special cabinet meeting on the upcoming EU Presidency. The German leader promised to try and revive the stalled ratification process and announced that on 25 March 2007 a “Berlin Declaration” will redefine the broad goals and values of the EU.

The German EU Presidency will have as its motto: “Gemeinsam gelingt Europa” (“Together Europe can succeed”). Energy security as well as the fight against climate change will be the presidency’s main priorities.

Merkel also stated that Europe needs to define its borders, but these “should not become another Iron Curtain”. Through a strong neighbourhood policy, she added, the EU should offer security and prosperity based on common values to the countries bordering the EU. The Chancellor also sent a warning to Turkey that it has to move on the Cyprus issue. According to press agency dpa, the German government might ask for suspension of some of the negotiation chapters.

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