(CS) With Cyprus taking over the EU Presidency for the second six months of the year, Danish Ambassador to Luxembourg Louise Bang Jespersen can look back on a busy six months in the Grand Duchy.
Promoting Denmark, its green agenda, but also its culture and bilateral business opportunities saw the Danish embassy host a series of events during the Danish EU Presidency.
From bringing the INDEX:Award design exhibition to Luxembourg as part of the Design City initiative to hosting a Finance and IT conference, Denmark has made its mark on the Luxembourg landscape these past months.
Danish Ambassador Louise Bang Jespersen said that the exchange of views, opinions and culture was “a unique way of getting closer to the people in Luxembourg.”
The exchange of ideas - “the essence of the EU”
And certainly, the embassy offered many ways for Luxembourg to get closer to Denmark, from Danish film at the Discovery Zone film festival in March to taking part in the Fête du Vélo in June, one of the ambassador's personal highlights, showing what Luxembourg can learn from Copenhagen when it comes to promoting cycling.
“We have established many good partnerships with key players and collaborators that we can build on for the future,” Jespersen said, adding that exchange and cooperation was “very much the essence of the EU.”
In an editorial featured in Danish paper “Politiken”, Danish Minister for European Affairs Nicolai Wammen said that Denmark took over the EU Presidency at a difficult time, as the EU was in the midst of the financial crisis, which is still ongoing.
Continuing the cooperation in Luxembourg
Wammen explained that under the motto “Europe at work” Denmark set out to build bridges between euro and non-euro countries, between different positions within the council and between the different EU institutions as a whole. The aim was to get tangible results, benefiting citizens and businesses, building a responsible, dynamic, green and safe Europe.
One of the results was a compact for jobs and growth adopted by the European Council at the end of June. Other results, as pointed out by Wammen, were decisions on lower roaming fees, an energy efficiency directive and the opening of accession negotiations with Montenegro.
In Luxembourg, Denmark has used the opportunity to create better visibility for the country and good exposure, with the chance for “long-lasting partnerships and deeper cooperation,” which the ambassador wishes to continue to build upon in the future. “We still have a lot of projects in the pipeline,” she said, without giving too much away of what lies ahead after the summer break.
The baton in Europe has now been passed to Cyprus, which took over the presidency on July 1. “Each country does things in its own way and we're looking forward to the Cyprus Presidency,” Ambassador Jespersen concluded.