On 8th January 2014, the Greek Presidency celebrated its official start with an opening ceremony in Athens. The Greek Presidency will lead the EU Council until 30th June 2014, succeeding to Lithuania and forerunning Italy.
Greece takes on this role for the fifth time since its accession to the EEC in 1981, at a time when Europe is going through a crucial phase of transition, following years of economic and financial crisis, recession and unemployment, at the dawn of European parliamentary elections, to be held in may 2014, the appointment of the new Commission and the new President of the European Council. This period will also see the start of the new Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 and coincide with the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy.
In this context, the main challenge for the EU is to be able to ensure stability and prosperity. The Hellenic Presidency, whose motto is “Europe: our common quest” is called to deal with the economic crisis, safeguarding the single currency through the strengthening of the EMU (Economic and Monetary Union) and promoting policies to immediately react to the recession and unemployment.
The Hellenic Presidency chose three policy areas as priorities: growth and employment – cohesion, Integration of the EU and the eurozone – Borders – migration and mobility. Moreover, European maritime policy will be a horizontal theme which will cover all the priorities of the Presidency.
For further information please visit the website of the Presidency: http://www.gr2014.eu/