Taciturne & epc - vendetta vol.1 ep

The first half of 2007 will see Germany holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the twelfth time since 1958. We have prepared our Presidency rigorously over the last two years ­ indeed, even the number of personnel in our Permanent Representation has been increased from approximately 170 to 228 staff members. We are thus prepared to approach our task in a concentrated and confident manner. Notwithstanding the chances and opportunities which the advance of globalization offers, it also raises questions about the future, and the competitiveness of the European Economic and Social Model. It is therefore evident that Europe will have to prove that it is able to frame policies both inside and outside of its borders in a manner consistent with its values. Only a united Europe is strong enough to endure in an international environment. During its Presidency, Germany wants to contribute to these efforts in effectively addressing the internal and external challenges that the European Union faces. The emphasis will be put on: the continuation of the European constitutional process; the sustainability of the European Economic and Social Model; the area of Freedom, Security, and Justice; as well as the projected development of the European area of security and stability. The draft Constitutional Treaty for Europe foresees internal reforms in order to assure the sustainability of the enlarged European Union. The German Presidency will aim at bringing about the necessary decisions at the European Council in June 2007 which will allow the continuation of the constitutional process. Only an economically strong and dynamic Europe will be able to leverage its weight internationally. Against this background, Germany advocates an economic order which is competitive, yet still allowing for social and ecological responsibility. The German Presidency will promote a functioning internal market whose integrative forces will positively impact on development throughout Europe. The Presidency will lend further impetus to the process of better regulation and the reduction of red tape, with the aim of enhancing the competitiveness of business and enterprise in Europe. Furthermore, Germany will highlight the social dimension of European politics, and strengthen the role of environmental technology as pacemaker for growth and employment. An innovation-friendly "Europe of Knowledge" will be encouraged through larger investments in education and research. A secure, economical and ecological energy supply is a decisive factor in Europe's future. The completion of the single market for electricity and gas, the increase of energy efficiency, the promotion of the use of renewable energy sources, an enhanced cooperation with supplier and transit countries and the development-friendly design of energy policy will be at the core of the German Presidency's priorities. With regards to the external dimension of the EU, the primary goal of the German Presidency is to strengthen the European area of security and stability. Alongside the stabilization and association of the Western Balkans, we will put particular emphasis on the advancement of the European Neighbourhood Policy and our relations with Russia and Central Asia. Furthermore, the Presidency will intensify cooperation with the Middle East. During our Presidency, both myself and my colleagues will be responsible for finding compromises and solutions between Member States, but also with the European Parliament and the European Commission, so as to ensure sound and swift decision-making for the further advancement of the European Union. It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that we embrace this challenge.

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