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1999

January

1

Germany takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The euro is officially launched. Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain adopt the euro as their official currency.

5

Spain deposits the instruments of ratification of the Treaty of Amsterdam.

12

Jacques Santer, president of the European Commission, calls for Parliament's confidence.

18

Mr Jan Karlsson is elected president of the Court of Auditors.

19

The European Court of Justice decrees that expulsion for life from a Member State's territory is contrary to Community Law.

20

The Commission adopts a Green Paper on public sector information in the information society.

27

The Commission adopts a White Paper on Commerce.

February

1

The agreement between the European Communities and Slovenia enters into force.

17

Belgium deposits the instruments of ratification of the Treaty of Amsterdam.

March

11

The European Commission publishes the codes of conduct for Members of the Commission and the relations between Commissioners and Commission departments.

15

Collective resignation of the Commission in wake of the report by the Committee of Independent Experts on the allegations regarding fraud, mismanagement and nepotism in the Commission.

16

The European Court of Justice annuls the registration of the name "feta" as a protected designation of origin.

22

Portugal deposits the instruments of ratification of the Treaty of Amsterdam.

23

Greece deposits the instruments of ratification of the Treaty of Amsterdam.

24

European Council declaration on the appointment of Mr Romano Prodi as president of the Commission.

24-25

A special European Council is held in Berlin, Germany. An overall agreement on the Agenda 2000 is reached; Mr Prodi is asked to accept the position of president of the next European Commission.

30

France deposits the instruments of ratification of the Treaty of Amsterdam.

April

15-16

The Third Euro-Mediterranean Conference is held in Stuttgart, Germany. The ministers agree to give fresh impetus to their partnership in each of the three areas (political and security; economic and financial; social, cultural and human).

23

The Council adopts a common position and a regulation concerning a ban on the supply and sale of petroleum and petroleum products to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

26

The Council approves a joint action providing support for the reception and voluntary repatriation of refugees, displaced persons and asylum seekers, including those who have fled from Kosovo. The Council adopts a decision which enables the European Court of First Instance, in certain circumstances, to give decisions when constituted by a single judge in cases coming under its jurisdiction.

28

The Commission adopts a White Paper on modernisation of the rules implementing Articles 85 and 86 of the EC Treaty (competition policy).

May

1

The Amsterdam Treaty enters into force.

5

Parliament approves the nomination of Mr Romano Prodi as president of the Commission.

28

The president of the European Court of Justice presents the Council of Justice Ministers with a number of proposals and ideas on the future of the jurisdictional system of the European Union.

June

3-4

A European Council meeting is held in Cologne, Germany. It adopts the first European Union common strategy, which concerns Russia, and designates Mr Javier Solana Madariaga as high representative for the CFSP and secretary-general of the Council.

10

European Parliament elections are held in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark.

11

European Parliament elections are held in Ireland.

13

European Parliament elections are held in Austria, Belgium, Spain, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Sweden.

14

The Council presents its conclusions on the contamination of certain foodstuffs by dioxin.

17

A EU-Canada summit is held in Bonn, Germany. The two sides sign an agreement on the enforcement of their competition laws.

18

The European Anti-Fraud Office is set up.

18-20

The annual G8 summit is held in Cologne, Germany. The heads of state or government define their priorities for coping with the challenges of the 21st century, particularly globalisation.

20

The eighth EU-Japan summit is held in Bonn, Germany.

21

An EU-US summit takes place in Bonn, Germany. The EU and the US stress the importance of gradually establishing a common European security and defence policy. The participants also devote much attention to the reconstruction of Kosovo and southeastern Europe. They agree that the Commission will work with the World Bank to coordinate donor activities.

28-29

The Rio Declaration is adopted at the close of the first summit of heads of state and government of the European Union, countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. It stresses the importance of developing a strategic partnership between the two regions and sets out 55 priorities for action.

July

1

Finland takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

9

The Commission adopts decisions on protective measures with regard to dioxin contamination of certain products of animal origin intended for human or animal consumption, and decisions authorising an aid package for farms and businesses affected by the dioxin crisis in Belgium.

19

A meeting of the foreign ministers of the 15 EU Member States, the 10 candidate Central and East European countries, Cyprus, Malta and Switzerland (Turkey declines to attend) takes place in Brussels. The meeting focuses on the fight against transnational organised crime and the situation in the western Balkans.

20

The new European Parliament elects Ms Fontaine as its president.

23

The Commission adopts a decision setting 1 August as the date on which dispatch of United Kingdom bovine products under the date-based export scheme may begin.

28

The Commission adopts a Green Paper on liability for defective products.

30

Economic and Social Committee: First Convention on the "Role and Contribution of organised Civil Society in European Integration".

August

30

The European Parliament's Committee of Independent Experts issues a second report.

30-7

Hearings of the members-designate of the new Commission by the European Parliament.

September

15

The European Parliament votes and approves the new Commission.

29-1

An EU-US International conference on combating child pornography on the Internet is held in Vienna, Austria.

October

11-14

The 29th African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP)-EU Joint Assembly is held in Nassau, Bahamas.

15-16

A special European Council is held in Tampere, Finland. An agreement is reached on a number of guidelines and political priorities, in particular relating to the right of asylum, immigration, access to justice and combating crime. Decisions are taken on the procedures for drafting the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.

18-19

WEU Assembly Special Session is held in Luxembourg on "Security and Defence, the challenge for Europe after Cologne".

19

The Council of the European Union publishes the First Annual Report on Human Rights.

22

The EU-Russia summit is held in Helsinki, Finland. The conflict in Chechnya occupies an important place in the discussions.

26

The European Court of Justice decrees that national decisions concerning the organisation and management of the armed forces must generally observe the principle of equal treatment between women and men.

28

First judgement delivered by a single judge at European Court of first instance.

November

25

Philippe Maystadt is appointed president of the European Investment Bank.

26

The Commission issues a report on Dioxin exposure and health.

30-3/12

A World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting on the Millennium Round is held in Seattle, USA. Supposed to launch a new round of trade talks, it finishes with the participants unable to reach an agreement.

December

9

The European Commission decides on Community association and reconstruction assistance to the western Balkans (CARA programme).

10-11

An European Council is held in Helsinki, Finland. It decides to open accession negotiations with Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Malta and to recognise Turkey as an applicant country. It agrees to convene an Intergovernmental Conference to revise the Treaties in February 2000.

16

An EU-Canada summit is held in Ottawa, Canada.

17

An EU-USA summit is held in Washington, USA.

21

An EU-China summit is held in Beijing, China. During the summit the establishment of a China-EU Chamber of Commerce in Beijing and the continuation of the EU-China business dialogue were announced.

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