[Fsfe-ie] 2004 dates for the EU Competitiveness Council

James Heald j.heald at ucl.ac.uk
Mon Dec 1 19:18:34 CET 2003

Here are the relevant meetings scheduled for the Irish presidency, 
January to June next year:

March 11th, 2004       Competitiveness Council formal meeting
March 25-26, 2004      European Council (ie Heads of Government)
April 2004             Informal meeting of Competitiveness Ministers
                           (Co. Clare, Ireland).
May 17-18, 2004        Competitiveness Council formal meeting

The relevant ministry in charge will be the ministry for Enterprise, 
Trade and Employment, headed by the Tánaiste (deputy prime minister), 
Ms. Mary Harney.

(Source: parliamentary answer,

which corresponds to a Word doc on the ministry website,
http://www.entemp.ie/ecd/irelandspresidency.doc )

The May meeting is the last date for Ireland to be able to claim the 
credit for any agreement, so the goal of the presidency will be to push 
for achievments on as many dossiers as possible by then.

If possible, they will try to get the agreement 'banked' in March, to 
clear the agenda; the March meeting will also consider what broad 
strategy and other documents in the area of Competitiveness can be 
prepared that the heads of government can discuss (or perhaps that 
should be trumpet) at the end of March.

Given that the Working Group has apparently already had two "very 
productive" meetings (UKPO), they may feel that March 11th is entirely 
possible to adopt a finalised Council common text for the directive.

The working party will also still be working on the Community Patent 
legislation, which the Italian presidency "spectaclarly failed" to bring 
to agreement (Axel Horns) -- "the Presidency noted that although there 
was broad agreement on the compromise text, complete agreement could not 
be reached at that stage as the question of the period for filing 
compulsory translations of the claims of the Community patent remained 

If agreements cannot be put in place on March 11, the "informal meeting" 
in April will see a final attempt to bash heads together at a political 
level, to produce agreement in time for May 17th.

All best,


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