The priorities of the Slovenian Presidency were to a large extent determined in the 18-month Programme of the German, Portuguese and Slovenian Presidencies and in the Survey of the Inherited Agenda of the EU Council.
The five main priorities of Slovenian presidency are:
After signing the Lisbon Treaty on 13 December 2007, all Member States have been concentrating on successful completion of ratification procedures in 2008 to allow the new Treaty to enter into force before the next elections to the European Parliament in 2009. The ratification process in the Member States has been so far successful. By mid-May, the new Treaty has been ratified by 13 countries, among them Slovenia. In cooperation with the institutions and Member States, the Slovenian Presidency also started preparation activities regarding implementation of the Lisbon Treaty.
The Lisbon Strategy is one of the key priorities of the Slovenian Presidency. At the Spring European Council, the second three-year cycle of the renewed Lisbon Strategy was launched.The Strategy is starting to deliver benefits in terms of increased growth and more jobs, and therefore does not need radical changes to priorities or processes. Therefore, the new cycle 2008–2010 will focus primarily on implementation of the Reform Programmes. The work on priority areas as defined in 2006 will be continued. Individual areas have been updated and renewed, and certain measures have been underlined as the most important for the next period:
One of the priority dossiers of the Slovenian Presidency is the energy and climate change package, published by the European Commission at the end of January. The March European Council took note that the package provided a good starting point and a basis for agreement. Even more important is the commitment to reaching an agreement between Member States before the end of 2008. In order to facilitate the work in the coming months, we have defined the fundamental principles to be taken into account in the distribution of effort between Member States. It is of utmost importance to adopt a legislative package before 2009, if the EU wants to play the leading role in achieving an agreement on a new international climate accord in Copenhagen in December 2009. The Slovenian Presidency has been trying hard to make progress in reaching political agreement concerning the third internal market package for energy.
Stability of the Western Balkans is of utmost importance for security and prosperity of the entire Union. Therefore, the Presidency is convinced that building the European perspective of the Western Balkans countries should remain a major item on the EU agenda. Slovenia strives to complete the network of Stabilisation-Association Agreements with all countries in the region and to enforce regional cooperation in several fields.
In the context of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the Presidency endeavours to strengthen the intercultural dialogue within the EU as it is the very foundation of the co-existence of all European citizens. It is important to popularise the value of intercultural dialogue among the European public at large. The Presidency will particularly strive to promote the intercultural dialogue with the Mediterranean countries, the Western Balkans, and other regions. A special Slovenian contribution in this context is the initiative for establishing a Euro-Mediterranean University in the city of Piran.