In his address, the Ambassador of the French Republic, the country which held the Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2008, took stock of the works undertaken by the French Presidency. He underscored that in this period of time progress was achieved in the many areas of importance to the European Union and especially in the effort to reach agreement on the energy and climate package and on ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. Moreover, the Presidency successfully accomplished initiatives pertaining to EU relations with other states, as expressed by the setting up of the Union for the Mediterranean and support given to the Swedish-Polish proposal for the Eastern Partnership.
The Ambassador also enumerated agreements reached in the area of asylum and migration and enhancing security and defence policy. In particular, the Ambassador highlighted that the French Presidency came in a particularly trying period of time in Europe and world-wide, given the Georgian-Russian conflict and the crisis on global financial markets. He underscored that in the face of such problems, Europe has risen to the occasion and manifested solidarity.