The Spanish government of Prime Minister Aznar is taking over the EU Presidency from Belgium on 1 January 2002. Spain’s foreign minister Josep Piqué, presented the priorities of the future Spanish Presidency on 17 December at a press conference in Brussels.
The motto of the Spanish Presidency is “Más Europa” (“more Europe”). It has six main priorities:
- the fight against terrorism: mutual recognition of judicial decisions, start of Eurojust, more coordination between security forces of Member States, cutting financial resources of terrorist organisations, concluding UN agreement against terrorism;
- the euro: safe and easy introduction of the euro after 1 January 2002;
- economic and social reform: moves towards full employment, opening and connecting transport and communication networks, liberalising electricity and gas markets, integrating financial markets, improving education and training of students and ensuring worker mobility;
- enlargement: reach agreements on agriculture, regional policy and financial measures;
- foreign and security policy: develop military capabilities of EDSP (European Defence and Security Policy, strengthen relations with the US, Canada, Russia, and Latin America; new impetus to Middle East peace process;
- the future of Europe: starting the Convention