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Spain Might Set Energy as Priority After Taking EU Council Presidency, Says Expert

When Spain takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) on July 1, the Spanish government might set energy as a priority in the following six months, a Spanish political expert told Xinhua in a recent interview.

“As it involves 27 countries, it’s difficult for the interests of just one country to predominate, but what is true is that the important thing is which issues are given priority on the agenda, which in Spain’s case could be the issue of energy,” said Jose Ramon Pin, Emeritus Professor at IESE business school.

“This presidency, like all the other presidencies, will have been exhaustively prepared and as for the issues to be debated in the Council of Europe it will already be just about decided whether they go ahead or are postponed for further study,” added Pin, who nevertheless stressed that Spain will have a chance to set the pace and direction of the talks.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez last week explained that his government’s priorities while steering the EU’s political debate will focus on strengthening European industrial sovereignty, accelerating climate transition, and forging unity to face global challenges.

Pin said that the EU’s agenda for the next six months will also depend on the pressure that other member states might bring to bear on competing issues of interest in Europe, such as fiscal discipline, and he agreed that the international situation should be a priority.

Pin also said that the snap general election to be held on July 23 in Spain would not disrupt the country’s EU Council presidency, noting that the parties in contention have a positive approach to Europe, and most voters see Spain’s EU membership as highly beneficial for the country. 

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