Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle today issued the following statement on the start of the Danish EU Council Presidency:
“I wish the Danish EU Council Presidency every success in meeting the immense challenges that Europe now faces.
The main task ahead for the European Union is to stabilize the euro and strengthen economic growth throughout the EU internal market.
Pressing as this task is, it is important for the European Union to focus on the wider world as well. We Europeans must strive to ensure that our neighbours, too, can live in security and freedom. People in the countries of the Arab spring need our continued support if the transition to democracy and the rule of law is to truly succeed.
In the face of the Assad regime’s brute force against the Syrian people, Iran’s intransigent stance on its nuclear programme or likewise the suppression of political freedom in Belarus, the European Union will be required to take a clear stand.
During the first six months of 2012 we will also be preoccupied with drawing the countries of the Western Balkans closer to the EU. In the spring important decisions on Serbia are due in this connection.”