Handing over of the presidency of the Council of the European Union from Denmark to Cyprus (July 1, 2012)
On June 30, 2012, Denmark ended its presidency of the Council of the European Union and handed over the reins to Cyprus. We pay tribute to the work done by Denmark and the success of its presidency, reflected in the conclusions of the European Council of June 28 and 29, 2012.
Indeed, during its presidency Denmark managed to successfully address a certain number of priorities:
the securing of a comprehensive agreement on the “European patent with unitary effect” package, as well as on the directive on energy efficiency;
the continuation of work on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, which enabled us to fully engage in the negotiations and provides the basis and guidelines for the last phase of negotiations under Cypriot presidency.
Under Danish presidency, an agreement was also reached on the adoption, through a decision by the heads of State and government, of a growth and employment pact which will, as requested by France, provide the necessary complement to the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union.
In the field of external relations, we could also mention:
with respect to expansion, the acquisition of EU candidate status by Serbia
the decision to launch 2 new Common Security and Defense Policy operations: EUCAP NESTOR aimed at strengthening capacities in order to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean and EUCAP Sahel Niger aimed at strengthening capacities in order to combat terrorism and organized crime within the framework of the EU strategy for the Sahel.
We would like the Cypriot presidency to continue to strive - following in the footsteps of the Danish presidency - to maintain the credibility of the expansion process in accordance with the principles of strict conditionality, while taking into consideration the merits of each candidate as approved by the European Council of December 2006.
We offer our best wishes for success to Cyprus which will assume for the first time the presidency of the Council of the European Union. The main challenge that we must face collectively will be to strengthen the European economy and the euro zone.
The future presidency will notably have the critical task of ensuring the implementation of the growth and employment pact adopted by the heads of State and government, helping to establish a banking union according to the agreed timetable and ensuring the full-scale use of the EFSF and ESM financial stability instruments.
This six-month period should also allow us to continue negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework.
In this context, France lends its full support to the Cypriot presidency of the Council of the European Union.