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Several recent speeches by the President of France and foreign ministers of Germany and UK (who are among the most significant net budgetary contributors to the EU) provide a sense of where future EU priorities may lie. And while each spokesman has a different nuance the common issues are:

  • tackling globalization in terms of trade (in face of fast growing significant Asia competition);
  • european security and defense;
  • securing energy supplies, energy efficiency, and emission standards; and,
  • bolstering transatlantic ties.

Other priorities seem to fall within the necessity to manage migration to and within the EU, reduce world proverty, and, strengthen and secure the food supply.

A more open, trade orientated and assertive EU seems to be the preference for the UK and Germany with France seeking mainly to ensure that the EU achieves a fair level of reciprocity with its trading partners. Germany sees the EU as a model governing structure that links economic success with social equality. While the French President sees Europe’s strength in policy development as being optimized through a process of constructive debate.

More specifics can be found at the following links.

UK 15 November 2007 to College of Europe in Bruges

Germany 9 November 2007 at European Council of Foreign Relations Berlin opening

France 16 November 2007 French President address to European Parliament

Timothy Garton Ash February 2007 speech (Source: Prospect)

Author :
EurActiv Network