New year, new EU Council presidency: On January 1, Paris took over the leadership of the body of heads of state and government. In the French capital, even the Eiffel Tower carried the EU flag to mark the occasion. After the relatively weak and disputed Slovenian presidency under the controversial Prime Minister Janez Janša, France’s head of state Emmanuel Macron is now taking over. Expectations are high, as the 44-year-old started the French presidency with a clear European focus. Three main pillars are to shape the next six months: “Relance, puissance, appartenance” – “recovery, strength, sense of belonging”.
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