France assumes the local European Presidency
On 1 January, Spain assumed the presidency of the EU for the first half of the year. For six months, the main task of the country which holds the presidency is to organise and manage the work of the Council of the European Union where the member states are represented.
Since Spain does not have a diplomatic presence in Nepal, France will assume the local Presidency in Kathmandu.
With the ‘new beginning’ of the Treaty of Lisbon coming into effect, the rules pertaining to the representation of the European Union are going to change. The European Union now has a dedicated service for external relations, headed by Madam Catherine Ashton, which will become fully operational in 2010, and which will replace the rotation Presidency ; in the near future, the European Union will be represented everywhere by the European Delegations. In Kathmandu, the European Delegation has recently been upgraded to a full fledged Delegation.
Meanwhile, information related du the European Union can be found on the website of the Spanish Presidency at www.eu2010.es/en or, for more focussed news, on the website of the French Embassy in Kathmandu at www.ambafrance-np.org which has an English version (top left).