10 December, 2007
Foreign Minister Ms. Dora Bakoyannis is in Brussels, representing Greece at the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC), the proceedings of which will run through Tuesday, 11 December. The agenda includes preparation for the 14 December European Council (Summit Meeting), the conclusions of which will bear on issues of particular interest to Greece, such as the setting up of a Civil Protection Mechanism for confronting emergency situations and natural disasters, and the new EU Maritime Policy. The latter provides for cooperation among the EU partners – based on the particular needs and priorities of each member state – on a number of issues concerning the marine environment. Other issues to be discussed at the Summit include EU enlargement, based on the Commission’s progress reports on candidate countries; developments in Kosovo; Iran’s nuclear programme; and the course of the Middle East peace process following the Annapolis conference. The Foreign Ministers will also be looking at the EU’s new Economic Partnership Agreements with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, as well as the situation in Burma/Myanmar following the crackdown on demonstrations there, the EU mission to Sudan/Chad, and aspects of the European Neighbourhood Policy aimed at better incorporating neighbourhood countries into the EU market.