The priorities of Greece as it holds the six-monthly presidency of the Council of the European Union will be outlined on Thursday by the Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic of Greece to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Konstantinos Bikas.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Committee Convener Christina McKelvie explained:
“Our Committee is keen to hear more about the priorities of the country holding the EU Council Presidency. With priorities to stimulate growth, create jobs and boost EU competitiveness it is vital that we in Scotland understand how they will be progressing these policy areas.
“We also have a strong interest in hearing about how they plan to reach out to citizens and secure their engagement into the work of the EU. It echoes the efforts of our own Committee to hear from people, including young voters. It is important politicians help their constituents hear the views of experts and take part in the debates of our country.”
Greece’s Presidency follows that of Ireland in the first half of 2013 and Lithuania in the second half. The Trio programme is an 18-month plan of work prepared by an incoming group of three EU Council Presidencies and the Council Secretariat which sets out key objectives to drive forward the EU agenda.
The Presidency has set out three principles which will guide its work. These are:
- Enhancing civic and society engagement in the EU, through policies and initiatives in response to the citizens’ everyday problems, concerns and insecurities.
- Deepening the Union, especially the Economic Monetary Union, by promoting policies and actions to remedy and restore initial deficiencies in the Euro area architecture, which have been unveiled by the recent crisis.
- Reinforcing EU democratic legitimacy and accountability, along with building up the collectivity and solidarity links among Member States, as well as incrementally constructing European democracy and expanding civil rights.
The Greek Presidency has highlighted three policy areas as priorities. These are:
2) Integration of the EU and the Eurozone, and
In addition, maritime policies will also run through the Presidency’s priorities. The ultimate objective is the adoption of a text on Maritime Policies at the June 2014 European Council, highlighting the two dimensions: security and growth, including energy.
European and External Relations Committee Meeting Thursday 06 March 2014, Committee Room 6 at 10.15am.
The Committee meeting will be webcast: www.scottish.parliament.uk/tv or tickets can be booked via email email@example.com / 0131 348 5200 or freephone 0800 092 7600 (Textphone users: 0800 092 7100).
Photographs of the event will be available free of charge. Please contact the Parliament’s Media Relations Office to obtain.