Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Greece holds the Presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2014, before handing over reins to Italy on 1 July 2014. It is the fifth time that Greece holds the EU Presidency since its accession to the European Communities in 1981. Current Greek Presidency’s message to Europe and to the world is : „Europe is our common quest and journey – united we sail further “.

Briefly, the promotion of policies and actions for achieving growth, combating unemployment, promoting economic and social cohesion and structural reforms, deepening integration and completion of EMU, as well as addressing external challenges, including the EU enlargement, formulate the priority framework of Greek Presidency. Elections for a new European Parliament during the Greek Presidency is yet another factor that sets the context of the Greek Presidency.

Main principles

Enhancement of civic and society engagement in the EU, through policies and initiatives in response to citizens’ everyday problems, concerns and insecurities. Therefore, the effort will focus in the areas of economic recovery, employment, cohesion, mobility of Union citizens and European security, internal and external. The ultimate goal is the development of the EU in a community of shared values ​​and “common destiny” for all its citizens, while preserving and strengthening the European model.

Deepening of the Union, especially the EMU, by promoting policies and actions to improve initial deficiencies in the Euro area architecture, which have been unveiled by the ongoing crisis.  The aim remains to safeguard the irrevocability of the common currency, on a solid and sustainable basis. The euro is a fundamental building block of the European integration project. There will be a struggle for concrete progress on the banking union (Single Resolution Mechanism). In any case, all EMU deepening will take place fully respecting the Single Market, in an procedure open to non-Eurozone member-states.

Reinforcement of  EU democratic legitimacy and accountability along with collectivity and solidarity links among Member States, as well as in incrementally constructing European democracy and in expanding civil rights.

Organisation

The Greek Presidency’s budget has been set at €50 million. This amount covers all costs, including the ministries’ extra spending and the staff’s temporary assignments to other posts, as well as expenses related to all events taking place in Greece. The goal is for the actual cost to be significantly lower, thus making the Greek Presidency the most economical ever.

The “Who is Who” and Media Guides, the main Presidency Programme and other relevant documents are only available in downloadable form on the Presidency’s website. Moreover, only eco-friendly stationery (pens, pads, copy paper) and other products are offered. Other thing is that, the venues are within walking distance from the hotels and the city centre, thus dispensing with the need of transporting delegates. Whenever needed, delegates can profit from the extensive public transport network (metro, bus, tram, trolley).

Source: www.gr2014.eu

Monika Rafajová

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