Press release

AFR Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s round trip prior to the European Council meeting in Brussels on 24-25 October 2002


Tomorrow, on 4 October, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen will embark on a round trip of the capitals of the 14 EU Member States. The round trip is part of the preparations for the European Council meeting on 24-25 October 2002.

As a rule, the Prime Minister’s meetings will be followed by a doorstep press conference. Specific information about time, venue, accreditation, etc regarding each conference will be issued.

The Prime Minister’s round trip schedule is as follows:

4 October: - Athens - morning, talks with Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis (press conference at 1:45 PM, Prime Minister Simitis’ official residence, the hall, Megaro Maximou) - Rome – afternoon, talks with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (press conference expected at 5:45 PM, Prime Minister Berlusconi’s Office, Palazzo Chigi)

14 October: - Lisbon - morning, talks with Portuguese Prime Minister José Manuel Durão Barroso - Madrid – afternoon, talks with Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar

15 October: - Dublin – morning, talks with Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern - London – afternoon, talks with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

16 October: - Brussels – afternoon, talks with Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt - Luxembourg – evening, talks with Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker

17 October: - Stockholm – morning, talks with Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson - Helsinki – afternoon, talks with Finnish President Tarja Halonen and Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen

18 October: - Vienna - morning, talks with Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel - Berlin – afternoon, talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder - The Hague - evening, talks with Netherlands Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende

22 October: - Paris – morning, talks with French President Jacques Chirac

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Ahead of the round trip, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen states:

”The round trip to the capitals of the EU will be used to optimise preparations for the European Council meeting in Brussels. It will be a tight schedule and involve work-intensive visits. I will use the meetings to have concentrated and direct dialogue with my colleagues. The bilateral talks with the other EU Heads of State or Government will give me the opportunity to gain a precise picture of the EU Member States’ various positions on the most important issues. At the same time, the meetings will be used to prepare my colleagues with regard to the goals and ambitions of the Danish EU Presidency at the meeting in Brussels.

The agenda for the European Council meeting in Brussels – and thereby the meetings on the round trip – focuses on two key issues: the enlargement and Kaliningrad. In Brussels, the European Council will, among other things, decide on which of the candidate countries the EU can complete the accession negotiations with by the end of this year. The 15 Member States must, in addition, reach agreement at the meeting on a common position on the outstanding issues of the enlargement negotiations regarding agriculture and budget.