Hungary take the rotating presidency of the EU on 1st January

From 1 January 2011 and for six months, Hungary will chair the Council of the European Union. Budapest has already set four priorities for its work: growth and employment for safeguarding the European social model, a stronger Europe, a Union citizen-friendly; enlargement and neighborhood policy.

From 1st January 2011, it is going to be task of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union to shape the issues on the agenda of the European Union in line with the interests of the 27 Member States. In order to maintain the course amidst its many obligations, the Hungarian Presidency has defined the topics that it considers to be of outstanding significance. The Hungarian Presidency wishes to work along four priorities during the first half of 2011. Beside this, it intends to keep in the focus point the human factor, as the basis for intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth when dealing with all other issues ranging from the economy, through common policies to the issue of enlargement.

Growth and employment for preserving the European social model

The entire Union is defined by a period of economic rearrangement. The Hungarian Presidency will continue the process of consolidation. It is convinced that the key to success is in the future oriented growth strategy of the EU and in the reinforcement of economic policy coordination.

The Europe 2020 strategy wishes to improve or to preserve the living conditions of European citizens, therefore it has to have the creation of jobs and sustainable competitiveness in the focus. Thus the Hungarian Presidency wishes to improve the situation of small and medium enterprises, which are the drivers for job creation and also wishes to call the attention of Member States to the impact that demography and family policy can have on employment and economic growth. In the framework of the initiative to decrease poverty, the Presidency wishes to pay increased attention to the struggle against child poverty and will strive for tangible, European-level measures in the field of the integration of the Roma-people.

Stronger Europe

The internal policies of the EU are structured around three basic elements: food, energy and water. Therefore the Hungarian Presidency attaches great importance to strengthen policies in these fields, thereby also reinforcing Europe. The review of the Common Agriculture Policy, the definition of a common energy policy and a new area, the drafting of a European water policy all serve this purpose. Parallel to the debate on preserving water resources, the European strategy on the development of the Danube-region will also be adopted during the Hungarian Presidency.

Hungary wishes to conduct a real and tangible debate on the afore-mentioned issues. This is indispensable in order to make sure that these policies that strength cohesion and solidarity between Member States provide a solid foundation for the next multi-annual financial framework of the Union.

Citizen friendly Union

The EU also has to deal with issues that have a direct relevance on the everyday lives of citizens. Thus Hungary intends to further the implementation of the Stockholm Program, to move forward the enlargement of the Schengen area to include Bulgaria and Romania in order to provide a free movement of people and to protect fundamental rights. Beside all these, it is the objective of the Hungarian Presidency to direct the attention of Member States to cultural diversity as a European value that needs to be protected. Cultural diversity will be a defining theme of cultural events during the Presidency.

Enlargement and neighbourhood policy

Hungary wishes to pay particular attention to taking the enlargement process further and to providing an integration perspective for the Western Balkans region. The Hungarian Presidency will do everything it can to conclude the accession talks with Croatia during the first half of 2011. It is also a priority objective to strengthen the Eastern dimension of the neighbourhood policy, in the framework of which, Hungary will host the second Eastern Partnership Summit in May 2011.

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