Portugal is taking over the presidency of the European Union for the second half of this year with three main priorities on its list; the EU Treaty, Brazil and Africa. Lisbon has praised the efficiency of the rotating presidency system, and Portugese Prime Minister Jose Socrates says he wants to consolidate predecessor Germany’s hard work, especially on that much disputed new Treaty.
“I think that the most important thing is to start the intergovernmental conference on the proposed treaty as quickly as possible. We will start it on the 23rd of this month and see if we can complete all the negotiation so the leaders can discuss the text at the next summit. And maybe even approve it!” said Socrates.
Energy is another pressing matter for the new Presidency, and not just because of climate change. As of today all private EU households should have the right to choose between gas and electricty suppliers. In ten of the EU countries like Britain, Spain and Romania that choice is available.
But Brussels is frustrated by continuing state monopolies in other countries. The compliant members will be looking to Lisbon to bring the others into line.