Spain faces challenge of post-Lisbon presidency

Tony Barber, Financial Times, 31.12.2009

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When Spain takes over the European Union’s six-month presidency from Sweden on January 1, it will inherit much more than the usual catalogue of economic and foreign policy challenges.

For Spain is the first country to hold the reins under the EU’s Lisbon treaty, a set of institutional reforms designed to strengthen the bloc’s decision-making procedures and, in certain respects, to downgrade the role of the rotating presidency. [...]

“National governments are not ready to give up the opportunity to demonstrate to their own public and to the outside world that they are (co-)leading the EU – even if this opportunity only arises once every 14 or more years in a EU of 27-plus members,” Antonio Missiroli and  Janis Emmanouilidis of the European Policy Centre think-tank wrote in a report last month. [...]

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