The Spanish Secretary of State for the EU, Diego Lopez Garrido, with the Belgian and Hungarian Secretaries of State for European Affairs, Olivier Chastel and Enikö Györi. EFE
The evolution of the first Trio Presidency with a shared agenda "has been a great experience that will continue in the Hungarian and Belgian Presidencies," the Spanish Secretary of State for the EU, Diego Lopez Garrido, said.
Speaking during a joint press conference, Lopez Garrido, who met on Monday in Madrid with the Belgian and Hungarian Secretaries of State for European Affairs, Olivier Chastel and Enikö Györi, pointed out that, "three days" from the start of the Belgian Presidency, the aim of this joint meeting "is to show that the Trio Presidency has worked very well."
He gave an overview of the Spanish Presidency, discussed the future priorities of the Trio Presidency's joint agenda, and said he "had agreed" that "some of the highest priorities of the Spanish Presidency will be finished or continued" during the Belgian Presidency.
He said the Spanish priorities, at institutional level, included the political agreement reached on June 21 in Madrid regarding the launch of the European diplomatic service, which will continue during the Belgian Presidency. "The European diplomatic service was launched during the Spanish Presidency, but it will be implemented over the coming months as such," he added.
Also in the institutional field, Garrido stressed the popular legislative initiative, on which, he said, "very broad agreement" was reached in the last General Affairs Council, and which is expected to be implemented during the Belgian Presidency.
Another priority of the Trio agenda highlighted by the Spanish Secretary of State was the protection order for female victims of gender violence. In this regard, he said, "initial positions" had been taken in the last JHA (Justice and Home Affairs) Council, and that the aim was to "bring this to a proper conclusion, with as much support as possible, during successive presidencies".
Moreover, he added, "the Belgian Presidency will continue some of the major economic initiatives that have arisen during the Spanish Presidency - naturally the 2020 Strategy programme, which will be developed with the initiatives to be presented by the Commission, as well as some of the proposals on the regulation of financial markets (...) as a way to prevent future crises. "
Other priorities mentioned by López Garrido, which he expects to be developed during the Belgian and Hungarian Presidencies, are those concerning the economic government of the Union, the enlargement of the EU to candidates such as Turkey, the Former Republic of Macedonia and Croatia, and the "European neighbourhood policy" with the Eastern Partnership and the Mediterranean as fundamental axes.
Lopez Garrido's Belgian counterpart, Olivier Chastel, said the Trio "has worked well despite the difficulties," and stressed that Belgium has developed an "ambitious and realistic" programme. In addition to "setting the foundations" for applying some practices of the Treaty of Lisbon during its rotating Presidency, it wants to "settle" some legislative points such as "the citizens' initiative and the Swift agreement," on the transfer of banking data.
According to Chastel, the five central points that the Belgian Presidency shares with the Trio will be "continuing the 2020 Strategy, continuing the work on social cohesion, the environment, deepening the Stockholm Programme in the legal, police and immigration fifth, and a fifth point related to enlargement."
The Belgian Secretary of State also mentioned the issue of financial services regulation, stressing that "by the end of this year, Europe needs agreements at legislative level, so that the financial architecture will be ready on 1 January 2011."
Other Belgian priorities highlighted by Chastel were research and development, industrial policy, and guidelines for the use and adoption of the 2011 European budget.
Preview of Hungarian priorities
The Hungarian Secretary of State for European Affairs, Enikö Györi, announced that his country will have a "stable" government, that is "very committed to relaunching the economy and institutional development" by 2011.
Among the objectives Györi set out for his country's future Presidency were the first assessment of the 2020 Strategy in March 2011, a "top priority for all Member States."
He also described "great interest" in energy policy. "The further development of a common European energy policy is critical," he added, pointing out that there is an energy summit planned "during our Presidency in February, and we will be able to work towards a common energy policy."
The Hungarian Secretary of State listed as other possible priorities of the rotating Presidency as the signing of the accession treaty with Croatia, the opening of the Schengen area to more states, the approval of the Danube Strategy "following the Baltic Sea Strategy," and the launching of proposals on water management and cultural diversity.