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EU faces challenges of globalisation at Informal European Council
EU Heads of State and Government gathered on 27 October for an Informal European Council at Hampton Court Palace, United Kingdom.

UK Prime Minister and current President of the European Council Tony Blair tried to get the EU's 25 Heads of State to reach a 'strategic consensus' on how to tackle the challenges of globalisation and demographic ageing. They discussed six main priorities proposed by the European Commission:

  • Research: the 25 Member States aim to give new impetus to European research and innovation, and to the budget devoted to research. They even suggested setting up a European Council dedicated to Research.
  • A common energy policy: EU leaders discussed sudden oil price increases and the exhaustion of oil stocks. They decided to negotiate with oil and gas producing countries at European level.
  • Education: European universities are lagging behind their American, Indian and Chinese counterparts. EU Heads of State identified a set of measures to fight the decline of European universities.
  • Immigration: EU leaders agreed that the Union must find a coordinated solution to illegal immigration, while recognising the benefits of legal immigration to the European economy.
  • Demographic change: Heads of State and Government discussed how the EU could help the employed better reconcile their work and family lives. They also addressed the issue of Europe's ageing population.
  • The creation of a Globalisation Adjustment Fund:  EU leaders discussed setting up a Globalisation Adjustment Fund to help workers who fall victim to globalisation.

The European Council did not deal with the controversial, but most important issue of the 2007-2013 financial perspectives in detail, but all EU leaders highlighted that an agreement should be reached at the European Council in December.  

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 5th, 2005 at 01:01:22 PM EST

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