Enlargement and justice and home affairs to be the main themes at the December European Council
The European Council meeting during Finland’s EU Presidency will be held in Brussels on 14 and 15 December. It will be chaired by the Finnish Prime Minister, Matti Vanhanen.
The main topic at the meeting will be EU enlargement. The Heads of State or Government will base their discussions on the enlargement strategy, approved by the European Commission on 8 November, and the special report annexed to it on the Union’s capacity to integrate new members. The objective will be to consolidate the consensus among the Member States on how to proceed with the enlargement process.
The European Council will also focus on justice and home affairs as the second main theme. The Heads of State or Government will discuss ways of improving EU decision-making and action in the area of freedom, security and justice. The goal will be to enhance the Member States’ commitment to more effective decision-making on justice and home affairs.
The EU’s immigration policy is also on the agenda for the European Council. The aim here is to strengthen the overall approach to immigration and agree on concrete measures to be taken in 2007.
The Presidency will present its assessment of the discussions which the Presidency held this autumn with the Member States concerning the future of the Constitutional Treaty.
The European Council will take stock of EU-accession negotiations with Turkey and Croatia, on the basis of the outcome of the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 11 December. Other items on the agenda for the meeting include policies on innovation and energy, climate change and key external relations issues.
In addition, the Heads of State or Government will welcome Romania and Bulgaria to the EU as new members with effect from 1 January 2007. Their accession will conclude the Union’s fifth round of enlargement.
Further information: Jari Luoto, State Secretary for EU Affairs, Government Secretariat for EU Affairs, tel. +358 9 1602 2180, Laura Aho, Adviser, EU Affairs, tel. +358 9 1602 2150, Government Secretariat for EU Affairs and Sanna Kangasharju, Deputy Head of Information, Government Communications Unit, tel. +358 9 1602 2175 or +358 40 731 9915