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Greece will head the European Union in the first half of 2014

01 January 2014 / 16:01:33  GRReporter
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Today, Greece will take over for the fifth time since its inclusion in the EU in 1981, the Presidency of the Union, at a critical moment both for the country and the EU.

With the Greek Presidency, the government wants to show that despite the economic crisis it can deal with European challenges successfully, despite the distrust of some partners and some European media.

As noted by Antonis Samaras, the main objective of the Greek Presidency is to achieve excellent results regarding a number of pending issues.

In an interview with The Guardian, Evangelos Venizelos characterized the Presidency as an opportunity to show that a country in a fiscal consolidation programme is a normal country.

Priorities of the Greek Presidency include the development and creation of new jobs in Europe, the consistency in decisions of the Eurozone, mainly related to the banking union, the common policy on illegal immigration and security and integrated development of maritime policy through the exclusive economic zone with the effective management of energy resources in European seas.

More detailed priorities include:

1. Development, employment and cohesion

Completion of legislative work on strengthening the consolidation in terms of development of the Multiannual Financial Framework.

Promotion of the completion of the Action for a common market I and II, with a focus on the deployment of broadband high-speed networks, e-procurement, as well as all the elements that will bring us closer to a truly single digital market by 2015.

Making the decision for the increase of the lending capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the main providers of jobs in the European economy.

The implementation of the initiative for youth employment, in order to create jobs for the most vulnerable segment of the population.

Actions in the field of foreign trade in order to accelerate negotiations on trade agreements with the USA and other strategic partners.

2. Deepening of the integration of the Financial and Monetary Union, in particular by promoting policies and actions which need to cover deficits in the architecture of the Eurozone that emerged during the economic crisis.

Regarding the Banking Union, the Greek Presidency will support and strengthen the political agreement on the regulation of the larger reorganization (SRM), achieved in the Council yesterday. Reaching an agreement in terms of the tripartite dialogue with the European Parliament regarding the establishment of a common mechanism for recovery is a top priority of the Greek Presidency. Greece is greeting the Lithuanian Presidency in terms of the results achieved in the establishment of guidelines for the recovery of banks and deposit guarantees. At the same time, Greece will promote issues related to tax evasion and the tax on financial transactions.

For the strengthening of the Financial and Monetary Union, Greece will aim at establishing the foundations of a well-coordinated Union with the right balance between financial stability and solidarity and institutional autonomy of its members. The project will be built on the current Comments on partnership for growth, jobs and competitiveness, based on Herman Van Rompuy's “road-map” and the strategic plan of the Commission.

3. Immigration, border management and mobility of citizens of the Union under the European security both inside the country and abroad.

Development of an area of freedom, security and justice is the main goal of the Greek Presidency. The Greek approach has three objectives: 1. The prevention/reduction of illegal immigration in an efficient manner, while ensuring respect for human rights and the fight against criminal networks for smuggling and human trafficking; 2. The improvement and better organization of legal immigration and mobility support; 3. Coordination of effective policies for the repatriation of illegal immigrants; 4. Enhancement of the interaction between migration and development, by attracting educated and talented human resources.

4. Maritime Policy for the EU - horizontal policy

The Greek Presidency will introduce a horizontal strategy that will include all matters related to maritime policy. The main idea of this topic is to redefine and reset the EU maritime policy in all its manifestations. The aim is to adopt a version of the European Council in June 2014 regarding maritime strategy, focusing on security and development, including energetics.

Tags: European Union the Greek Presidency priorities policy
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