Spain takes over the Presidency of the EU

On 1 January 2010 Spain took over the EU Presidency for the next six months, the first country to do so under the new rules established by the Lisbon Treaty. Key priority issues include economic issues, the supervision of financial markets and energy policy. CEPI welcomes the Spanish EU Presidency and hopes that it will be successful and productive. More information about its programme is available on its website.
The new rules established by the Lisbon Treaty mean that the Spanish prime minister will no longer chair European Summits, and its foreign minister will not chair foreign affairs meetings. Instead the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton as the High Representative for foreign affairs will chair those meetings. However the Presidency chairs all the meetings in the Council of Ministers, which gives it an important role in the reaching of compromise on legislation.

The full programme of the Spanish EU Presidency sets out four priorities:
- full implementation of the Lisbon Treaty;
- coordination of economic policies to promote recovery and sustainable growth through Europe;
- strengthening of the European Union's foreign policy to turn it into a real global player;
- fostering a Europe of rights and freedoms at the service of citizens.

The next country to hold the Presidency will be Belgium, which takes over in July.