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Foreign policy marathon in Strasbourg

2009/12/16

Last session in the European Parliament during this presidency. This time around, it’s two marathon days with a strong focus on foreign policy. Parliament has asked for debates on the Middle East, Congo, Belarus, Georgia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where I will make statements on how Council is working with these countries and regions. Yesterday afternoon, the new High Representative, Catherine Ashton, was debating in Parliament for the first time in her new capacity.

This morning, Prime Minister Reinfeldt has been present in plenary report on the achievements of the Swedish Presidency. Much of the debate dealt with the ongoing climate negotiations, but many Members also wished to debate how the EU has tackled the financial crisis.

This week’s visit to Strasbourg has also offered discussions on transparency issues. Yesterday, I met Commission VP Margot Wallström and Parliament VP Diana Wallis to discuss how we can make it easier for citizens to access documents held by EU institutions. The rules are in force since a number of years, but if we are to make the Union more transparent and accessible, taking advantage of these rules must also become much easier! One of the most important measures in this respect is to create common search tools and a single website for documents from all institutions.

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