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Belgium begins EU presidency

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Belgium begins EU presidency


Belgium today takes on the rotating six-month presidency of the European Union.

Financial regulation and economic coordination are its priorities. Much depends on the effectiveness of Belgium’s interim government following inconclusive elections last month.

But the country’s caretaker Prime Minister, Yves Leterme, has dismissed concerns.

“There is a consensus (in Belgium) on Europe, on European integration and on the common European approach. Whoever is the person sitting as leader of the government wants Europe to progress,” he said.

As a former Belgian prime minister, Herman van Rompuy, the European Council President, is expected to play a key role in ensuring the presidency’s goals are met.

Van Rompuy heads a task force of EU finance ministers who are looking at how to overhaul some of the EU’s economic policy architecture. He is expected to present his findings in October.

That is when Belgium is also hoping to unveil its own plans for how EU nations can work better on economic policy.

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