Spain wants EU to be 'motor for economic recovery'

1st September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Spanish PM Zapatero reiterates his support for Sweden to obtain a ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

Stockholm – Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Monday he wants the European Union to lead the global economic recovery, as Madrid prepares to take over the rotating EU presidency in 2010.

"We want to be a motor for economic recovery and to do that, we support Sweden's efforts to obtain a ratification of the Lisbon Treaty," Zapatero said following talks with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in Stockholm.

The Lisbon Treaty, aimed at simplifying the EU's decision-making procedures now that it has 27 members, will be submitted to a referendum in Ireland on 2 October and must be ratified by Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Spain is due to take over the rotating EU presidency on 1 January 2010.

"The economic recovery needs a global return of confidence and we appreciate Sweden's efforts to reach a joint EU position ahead of the G20," Zapatero said.

Stockholm plans to organise an EU summit in order to prepare a joint position ahead of the meeting of the Group of 20 biggest economies in the US city of Pittsburgh on 24-25 September.

The date of 17 September has been mooted for the EU preparatory meeting but has yet to be confirmed.

Reinfeldt and Zapatero meanwhile both reiterated their support for the re-election of EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, but refused to be drawn on names for other key EU positions due to be appointed under the Lisbon Treaty, including an overall EU president and foreign minister.

"The Council (of Europe) will appoint the president sovereignty, but if Europe spends its time discussing names, it won't have time to take care of the real problems it faces" such as the climate, Reinfeldt said.

"Sweden would like the issue of names to be resolved in October, but we don't want to send a message to the Irish people that we've already chosen a name. Let's do things in the right order," he added.

AFP / Expatica

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