Publié : 28 décembre 2009
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Section Européenne 2007 : Ammabel


info document -  voir en grand cette imageThe European Council is the motor of European integration.

And so that’s why it’s essential to know its composition, powers and functions...

  • The European Council isn’t an official institution of the European Union. The European council is the highest political body of the European Union which meets around four times a year. It is made up of the heads of state or government, or ministers of the Union’s 27 members states along with the President of the European Commission. Its meeting is chaired by the representative of the member state currently holding Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The presidency rotates every six months.
  • The current President is José Socratès, the prime minister of Portugal. He is Socialist.
    The agenda of the meetings are defined by the Presidency. The role of the President-in-Office is in no sense equivalent to an office of a head of state, merely a primus inter pares (first among equals) role with other European heads of government.
  • There are 27 countries represented in the European Council : all the countries of the European Union. Officially, the members of the Council consist of the heads of state or government of the Union. Meetings can also include national ministers, including foreign ministers, Commissioners as required. The Secretary General of the Council is also a regular attendee.
  • The functions of the European Council are very important :
    The primary function of the European Council is to give the general impetus and social, economic and political guidance in all areas of European Union. To be put into effect, they must follow the routine procedure for Community legal instruments : proposals from the European Commission voted on by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

Christmas is very important for the Finnish because it’s Santa Claus’ country. And traditions are very much respected. People from all over the world send letters to Father Christmas, in the Finnish Lapland.

  • Here’s how it starts : everybody’s house is given a very good cleaning up to get ready for Christmas. Hours are spent in the kitchen cooking and baking special treats for the festive season. Fir trees are felled, tied onto sleds, and taken home to be decorated with apples and other fruit, candy, paper flags, cotton, tinsel and candles are used for lighting it. The meal begins as soon as the first star appears in the sky. The Christmas festivities are preceded by a visit to the famous steam baths, after which everyone dresses up in preparation for the Christmas dinner, which is served at 5-7 in the evening. The main dish is boiled codfish served snowy white and fluffy, with allspice, boiled potatoes, and cream sauce. Also on the menu is roast suckling pig or roasted fresh ham, mashed potatoes and vegetables.
  • There are other Christmas dishes : Kinkku (ham ), lanttulaatikko ( Rutabaga casserole ), porkkanalaatikko ( carrot casserole ), riisipuuro ( rice pudding), luumukiisseli ( prune soup ), piparkakut ( ginger bread cookies ), joulutortut ( pastry filled with cooked prunes ), joulupulla ( braided sweat white bread ), kalja ( Finnish Christmas brew, a little like beer ). Santa Claus comes in person, often accompanied by as many as half a dozen Christmas elves to hand out the presents. After dinner, the children go to bed while the older people stay up to chat with visitors and drink coffee until about midnight.

And for you, dear reader, AMMABEL has found Santa Claus’ address :