Enlargement, disaster management and Santa Lucia buns2009/12/07
Later today, I will be chairing the last meeting of the General Affairs Council during this presidency. As the Copenhagen climate summit has just started, today’s meeting will also serve as an opportunity for possible small adjustments to the Union’s mandate in the negotiations. Discussions on the conclusions for the European Council on 10-11 December will also be held. The European Council later this week is the point where the Presidency will be delivering on a number of the priorities set.
Enlargement is also on the agenda for the General Affairs Council, with a view to adopting conclusions. In the margins of the meeting, I will also host an informal discussion with colleagues on disaster management. The new Treaty contains a solidarity clause, which obliges Member States to assist each other in case of a disaster. However, if this is to work in practice, the Union will need a more effective and well-coordinated capacity to manage disasters. During today’s discussion – accompanied by Swedish Christmas ‘glögg’ and traditional Santa Lucia saffron buns – we will have a first exchange of views on how this capacity should be developed further.