Sweden has taken up the rotating presidency of the European Union.
Tackling the economic crisis and climate change will be the priorities of the next six months, along with implementing the Lisbon Treaty should it be ratified. The European Commission president is confident that it will. José Manuel Barroso told a press conference in Stockholm: “Providing a stable institutional framework will be critically important. After yesterday’s decision of the German constitutional court another hurdle was overcome so we’ll have the Lisbon Treaty in place. We believe it is very important. Of course we need to have strong institutions and clarity so that we can work with all our strength for the good of Europe.” Yesterday Germany’s constitutional court gave the Lisbon Treaty the all clear. All that stands in the way now is the Irish referendum on the treaty, which is expected in October. If Ireland votes ‘Yes’ and the treaty is implemented, in future a person not a country will hold the EU presidency for two and a half year terms.