Belgium takes the EU presidency reins

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, Belgium

Belgium launched its six-month presidency of the European Union on
Monday by pledging to "ride into the wind" in its pursuit of a more
integrated...

Belgium launched its six-month presidency of the European Union on Monday by pledging to "ride into the wind" in its pursuit of a more integrated Europe in areas ranging from immigration to food safety. "Let us make 'riding into the wind'... the theme of our collaboration in the coming six months,"​ the Flemish premier, a keen cyclist, told the European Commission, on Monday, one day after Belgium formally took up the presidency. Signalling an ambitious agenda, Verhofstadt told a later news conference Belgium had targeted seven key policy areas including the launch of the euro single currency on January 1, 2002, employment and social policy and EU eastward enlargement. "We are a single Union committed to single values and should strive towards a single policy,"​ he said. In particularVerhofstadt said establishing common standards for treatment of asylum seekers and setting up a long-planned Food Authority to help boost consumers' confidence were two areas where Belgium hoped to see progress.He said the common thread in Belgium's priorities was making the 15-nation bloc more transparent and accountable to its citizens, especially after Ireland's shock rejection in a referendum last month of the EU's Nice Treaty for enlargement. Source: Reuters

Related topics: Policy

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