Danish Presidency of the EU marked by 'typically Danish efficiency and practicality'
Posted, July 03, 2012 @ 09:00
The end of Denmark's Presidency of the EU was today marked by a debate in the European Parliament with Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Speaking for the European Conservatives and Reformists group, group leader Martin Callanan MEP congratulated the Presidency on its efficiency and welcomed their position in supporting the interests of member states on issues such as the Financial Transaction Tax and the Pregnant Workers Directive.
"On behalf of the ECR, I want to thank those officials and ministers from the Danish Presidency with whom we have dealt.
"Of course, as a socialist, and a conservative, I am sure that we would disagree on a number of policy areas. However, I pay tribute to your typically Danish efficiency and practicality, which has been sorely needed over the past six months.
"In particular, your Presidency should be commended for burying the Financial Transaction Tax as an EU-wide initiative, which would have harmed the EU's main financial centre in London.
"Your administration should be thanked for refusing to reopen negotiations on the Pregnant Workers directive, which would have raised costs for businesses, reduced women's choice and made it harder for young women to find a job.
"And you should be congratulated, as a member of the EU net contributors club, in pushing for budgetary restraint within the EU.
"In fact, when I look at your Presidency, it seems that there are a number of lessons you could teach your socialist family should you ever return to the European Parliament.
"Regarding the row over the Schengen evaluation mechanism, you have my sympathy. After all, the decision to change the legal base was made unanimously by the council - a council which Mr Daul often reminds us is made up predominantly of leaders from the EPP.
"I don't think it is fair to shoot the messenger.
"This incident aside, the Danish Presidency's overall relationship with the Parliament has been good. I would like to thank the Europe Minister for meeting with my group last week. I have to say he has been an excellent Europe Minister and I am certain you would join us in commending his efforts. We wish him well in his future political career.
"Prime Minister, overall, your Presidency has been a good honest broker between the institutions and we come away with a positive assessment of Denmark's time at the helm."