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Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Rupel, officially takes over the EU Council Presidency

On 31 December 2007, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Dimitrij Rupel officially took over the EU Council Presidency on the island of Madeira. At the working meeting, the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Luis Amado, handed Dr Rupel a symbolic object with stars and the EU flag, the hand-over of which was introduced by the German Presidency.

At the ceremony Dr Rupel said that there had been three events which had marked Slovenia and all of Central and Eastern Europe. “In 2004, Slovenia joined the EU, and in 2007 the borders within the EU were removed and the Schengen system introduced, while tomorrow, one of the new Member States, i.e. Slovenia, will begin to preside over the entire European Union.”

On this occasion Dr Rupel stated that “the EU Presidency is moving from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, to the Slovenian Adriatic Sea, from the West to the East”. Dr Rupel also pointed out that Slovenia was taking over the EU Council Presidency from Portugal, which had set high standards. “So, thanks to Portugal and especially to my friend, Luis Amado. The European Union is a large integration stretching from Portugal to Slovenia and even further! From the Lisbon Strategy to the Treaty of Lisbon.” Minister Rupel concluded by saying that “the year 2008 will be a turning point. We are awaiting the synergy of friendship, partnership, good neighbourly relations, dialogue, respect, understanding and solidarity.”

The ceremony on the occasion of taking over the Presidency took place in front of the Perfecta Palace, where 300 balloons painted in the colours of the Portuguese, Slovenian and EU flags were released into the air. The host of the ceremony was the President of the Regional Government of Madeira, Alberto João Jardim.


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Date: 04.01.2008