• The CzechRepublic has taken over the EU Presidency from France, with three priorities: the economy, energy and external relations. The Czech Presidency's motto is "Europe without barriers" and it will be working to remove remaining barriers to the free movement of goods, capital, services and labour that hamper the EU's economic potential. The Czech Presidency website is www.eu2009.cz/en.
• There will be an informal meeting of Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs on 15-16 January 2009 in Prague to discuss the use of modern technology for security purposes, mutual recognition in criminal matters and the future of family law.
• Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers will meet on 19-20 January 2009 in Brussels.
• There will be an Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) on 20 January 209 in Brussels.