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EU: Denmark now in control

The European Union flag is on the buses, as Denmark is now boss

Commentators are already predicting that Denmark’s role as EU president will be more ceremonial than substantial, reports and Jyllands-Posten. This is as the European Union faces one of the largest economic crises in its history.

Denmark officially assumed the rotating EU Presidency on 1 January or, as it’s officially termed, ‘The Presidency of the Council of the European Union’.

An editorial in the Swedish newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet dismissed Denmark as an ‘extra’ in the power game surrounding the euro crisis. Other European media have downplayed Denmark’s significance, partially because it is not a member of the eurozone and also because the rotating EU Presidency doesn’t have the same significance as previously.

Diminished presidency

German radio station Deutsche Welles’ website characterised the next six months as a ‘diminished presidency’ due to formal changes in the way the EU works, and also because Denmark remains outside the euro.

Although the Danish Presidency can’t, or is not expected to, solve the euro crisis both Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Minister for European Affairs Nikolaj Wammen have said they hope to ‘build bridges’ between all the major players.

According to the EU magazine, European Voice: »Denmark is well-known for having efficient and competent civil servants and has an impressive record from previous presidencies. This should help to allay concern about the new government’s lack of ministerial experience«.

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