Herman Van Rompuy has kicked off his official first week of work as the European Union’s first full-time Council president. He underscored his view that the bloc must keep economic ambition at the centre of its policy coordination efforts.
Rompuy said: “I’m preparing already the next European Council on 11 February. I took the initiative to convene this Council with the main theme: the economy. We need more economic growth, in order to finance on a sound basis our social model, to preserve our European way of life.”
The February summit will be the first that the former Belgian prime minister Van Rompuy will chair in his new capacity. The Council holds its regular spring meeting in March.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whose country took over the outgoing rotating European Union presidency on January 1 in a transitional phase, is expected to play a supporting role in preparing the meeting.
The Spanish presidency had some trouble with its website after a hacker using the guise of Mr. Bean had some fun with it.
The EU is set to draw up a new plan to make its economy more competitive. This would replace the “Lisbon Strategy,” which was supposed to make the EU’s knowledge economy top of the world by this year – but fell short.