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Slovenia takes over EU presidency

‘Looking (South) East’

Monday 14 January 2008

Apart from celebrating the New Year, Slovenians enthusiastically celebrated the start of their first EU presidency which they will take over for six months.

Formerly belonging to Yugoslavia, Slovenia maintains special ties with the other former Yugoslavian states and EU’s neighbouring countries. Some of these states are also candidate countries. It goes without saying that the European Neighbourhood Policy and strengthening the European perspective of the Western Balkans are main priorities of the Slovenian presidency.

Another priority is the launching of the new Lisbon Strategy Cycle, as agreed within the Trio-presidency (with Germany and Poland). Setting the good example for other EU Member States, Slovenia wants to ratify the new Lisbon Treaty at the beginning of 2008, aiming at economic growth and more and better jobs.

Health issues will also be discussed the coming six months. The emphasis will be put on screening and prevention. After the expansion of the Schengen area, cooperation in the justice sector also remains a priority. Slovenia will analyse whether new tasks can be assigned to the FRONTEX agency.

Slovenia is one of the most successful Member States in the field of e-government. When delivering the priorities of the presidency, this will also be borne in mind.

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