01-07-2005 • Press Release • General Affairs and External Relations
The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union came to an end at midnight on 30 June 2005. All the editorial staff at www.eu2005.lu
wish to thank the website’s users and subscribers for their interest, their trust and for the numerous valued comments in support of the Presidency’s action. The site will remain in its present form online to document this action. The www.eu2005.gov.uk
website of the UK Presidency has now taken over for the next six months.
Jean-Claude Juncker, current President of the European Council spoke at the European Parliament on 22 June 2005 about the positive results of the Luxembourg Presidency (reform of the Growth and Stability Pact, relaunch of the Lisbon Strategy, more ambitious objectives for development aid, improvements in transatlantic relations and a new framework for relations with Russia). With a desire to show transparency and meet the parliamentarians half-way, he explained at length the proposals of the Luxembourg Presidency to avoid a failure in the negotiations on financial perspectives at the last European Council on 17 June. Finally, he reiterated the European Council decision to continue the ratification process while making room for a period of reflection. Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his sadness at having “been unable to prevent Europe from entering into a crisis, which is not definitive but is definite. I was sad and I showed it. I sometimes read that I was not very diplomatic but I have no desire to be diplomatic when Europe is in crisis, no desire to be diplomatic, none at all. He concluded his speech by pleading for a political Europe: “We have no right to undo what our predecessors have built up because the generations that follow will need a political Europe. If it is not political, it will lose its way. They need and want a Europe of solidarity, a social Europe, a competitive Europe, a strong Europe, both at home and in the world. So, old Europeans and convinced Europeans, let’s go! Courage!”