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Spain passes 6 month EU Presidency to Belgium

Thu 1st Jul 2010

Today saw Belgium assume the EU presidency from Spain for their six-month term inspite of no new national government following their general election. The Presidency will be headed by their national caretaker government.

"What Belgium needs to do after bank stress tests, we need to get an agreement on European supervision, where European authorities will have primacy over national supervisors" Vincent Van Quickenborne said at the European Business Summit in Brussels. He went on to say how the euro-zone countries must respect the requirements of the EU's Stability and Growth pact, which requires them to keep budget deficits below 3% of gross domestic product.

"I am absolutely convinced that Belgium, which has always been at the centre of the European Union, will remain there" European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said last week. "Even after the Presidency period, I am fully confident that Belgium has strong European belief."

As a founding member of the EU, Belgium has held the presidency 12 times already.

"It will be a very pro-European presidency" Peter Becker, a researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) told Deutsche Welle. He said it was not at all a problem that the rotating residency would be headed by a temporary government.

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