Yesterday the EU Committee of the Finnish government discussed next week’s European Council, based on a memorandum (in Finnish)”Eurooppa-neuvosto 29.-30.10.2009” (pdf).
The paper discusses the effects of the delayed Czech ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon and the possible means to solve the problem caused by President Vaclav Klaus (but later during Friday there was information from Prague Castle and the Swedish Presidency that a satisfactory solution has been bound, making speculation redundant).
The memo is content to state that the President of the European Council and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy cannot be elected at the October meeting of the European Council. The paper does not discuss the possible candidates for the posts or the preferences of the Finnish government. It does not even hint that it is engaged in active discussion or lobbying.
The paper has a few words to say about the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty. After the Slovenian Presidency in the first half of 2008, preparatory work has been taken up during the Swedish Council Presidency, which will present two reports: One on the European External Action Service (EEAS) and another one on the rest of the implementation issues. Draft Rules of Procedure of the European Council have been promised.
In addition to the institutional questions, the memorandum outlines the policy areas up for discussion: climate change; the economic, financial and employment situation; the EU’s Baltic strategy; illegal immigration; external relations.
Even if the Swedish Presidency is slightly more open than its predecessors, official information about the upcoming European Council is still scarce, so we have to pick up even the crumbs, such as those offered by the Finnish memo.