Hungary takes over EU presidency
<p>Budapest, January 1 (MTI) - Hungary took over the rotating presidency of the EU Council for half a year on Saturday.</p>
Balint Odor, Deputy Foreign State Secretary in charge of EU affairs, said on the presidency s official website www.eu2011.hu that the presidency s objective was clearly described by its slogan, Strong Europe.
"This is our aim as Presidency: to help create an economically, socially, politically and institutionally stronger and more attractive Europe," said Odor.
Hungary has assumed the post for the first time since it joined the European Union in May 2004. Hungary was preceded by Belgium in the second half of 2010 and will be succeeded by Poland on June 30, 2011.
Odor said that presidency s programme would be built around four main priority areas: promoting economic growth by strengthening economic governance and concentrating on job creation and social inclusion; strengthening of common policies by finding ways to make them more efficient and competitive, while preserving the fundamental values underlying those policies and their ability to create cohesion in Europe; bringing Europe closer to its citizens; and moving forward with the enlargement process in a credible and responsible manner.
Hungary will formally take over EU presidency on January 6, to be followed by a joint session of the European Commission and the Hungarian government on January 7.