Tuesday 12 December 2017

Save a presentation silk tie for diligent Danes

AS the Department of Foreign Affairs tenders to buy 10,000 ties to celebrate Ireland's EU presidency when it ends next summer, it is perhaps time to celebrate Denmark's presidency which ended in pretty spectacular fashion last week with the closest thing yet to an agreement that might actually go some way to solving the debt crisis.

Our civil servants love the limelight of an EU presidency and have been beavering way since the end of last year to ensure that the thing goes smoothly.

At some moments during the past 12 months, it was almost surreal to chat to civil servants busy preparing for the presidency while the markets were speculating about whether the European Union would still exist in 2013.

Still, as is so often the case when it comes to Europe, the hares were wrong and the tortoises were right.

Place in the sun

Denmark, the third country in a row to host the presidency from outside the eurozone, will now be replaced by Cyprus and Ireland, which will give the bailout nations their place in the sun for the next 12 months.

Whether we will be able to shape the debate remains to be seen.

The Danes have worked hard and successfully for many causes which get little attention here such as energy security and open borders as well as financial agreements such as the fiscal compact.

While it would be absurd to credit the talented prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt for all the successes over the past six months now that the council president plays such a role. Still it is true that the European Union is a completely different animal today than it was in January. Lenin once said "there are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen".

In the topsy turvy world of the European Union this could never be the case but the Danish presidency sets a high bar for this country when our turn begins next January.

Indo Business

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