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Janez Jansa presents Presidency priorities to Parliament

The Prime Minister of Slovenia and current President of the European Council, Janez Jansa, presented his country's priorities for the next six months to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 16 January. Among his priorities were EU-wide recognition of a 'fifth freedom', tha...

The Prime Minister of Slovenia and current President of the European Council, Janez Jansa, presented his country's priorities for the next six months to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 16 January. Among his priorities were EU-wide recognition of a 'fifth freedom', that of the free flow of knowledge, and the implementation of commitments to tackle climate change. Mr Jansa spoke of the necessity of creating a Europe based on creativity and knowledge, but emphasised that 'merely investing in knowledge is not enough'. He promised a debate on the nature of the internal market that the EU should have, and added: 'We must ensure that there will be no obstacles to the flow of ideas and knowledge.' The Presidency plans to make the free flow of knowledge a fifth freedom at the spring European Council. On climate change, Mr Jansa referred to commitments made in March 2007 to minimise climate change. A conference in Bali in December provided a timetable for implementing commitments. The Prime Minister has big plans for the spring Council meeting. 'My ambition is that the meeting will provide us with clear guidelines for our future work and that our collective intentions to adopt the package as soon as possible will be confirmed. We want the final solutions to be objective and just, and anticipate that the goals will bring results according to our commitments,' he told Parliamentarians. 'It remains to be shown that we can achieve success by taking appropriate action and that we can reduce impacts on the environment by investing in new technologies along with those already available,' said Mr Jansa. Other priorities presented to MEPs included ratification of the new EU Treaty, agreed in December 2007, accession negotiations with Croatia and Turkey, support for the Western Balkans, and combating poverty.

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Slovenia