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Liberals ready for the EU negotiations


19 Jun 2009


EU Priorities 2020

European liberal prime ministers and party leaders today gathered together for their traditional pre EU summit meeting in Brussels. They discussed the upcoming election of the President of the European Commission; the preparations for the Swedish presidency and their support for a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in the company of Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen.

Chairing the lunch discussion and the summit with the party leaders, Annemie Neyts, ELDR Party President, said that "ELDR has already held talks with EPP President Wilfried Martens about providing stability in the Union's institutions". Believing that the future Commission President should have a dynamic and consistent programme, Neyts affirmed that liberals expect to fairly share the Commission's portfolios. "With our good results in the last elections and with our attitudes we, as European Liberals, expect to hold one of the major jobs in the EU institutions and the role of the ELDR Party is to lead these negotiations", she concluded.

Even if it is not possible to discuss who would fill the role of EU Foreign Minister because the Lisbon Treaty is not yet approved, Matti Vanhanen, Finnish Prime Minister, stated that "we can negotiate our position within the Commission and our priority now is having a Commission already working for the crucial upcoming Copenhagen Summit in December (the next climate conference).

Concerning the Lisbon treaty's next steps, Brian Cowen called for the continued support and cooperation of all the member states. Adamant in pursuing the ratification of the text, Cowen mentioned the need for good preparation for the referendum campaign and he asked his liberal colleagues to support him on the full elimination of the negative comments that engulfed Ireland's previous attempt to ratify the text. "There is no room for complacency in the second referendum, even though polls consistently show that Ireland is a very pro-European nation".

Ahead of the upcoming Swedish EU presidency, Sweden's Europe Minister, Cecilia Malmström stated that there are two major issues to bring forward: economic and financial crisis solutions on a long term basis together with a commitment for sustainable economic growth and more efficient cooperation with EU states to carry on and revitalize the climate and energy package in Copenhagen. Maud Olofsson, Deputy prime Minister of Sweden added that "My vision for Europe would be an eco-efficient economy.

Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Danish Prime Minister, stated "we need a strong Commission and we must find a way through the crisis, fight protectionism and remain true to the values of the Single Market."

Graham Watson, outgoing ALDE leader, renewing his candidacy for the European Parliament, announced that on June 30 the bureau of the newly formed ALDE Group will meet for the first time and discuss the election of the next leader of the group.


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