Publication date : 2002
2001 was a year of major contrasts - political, economic and social. The year began with a certain degree of euphoria in Europe, as demonstrated by the signs of self-satisfaction emanating from the Stockholm summit, the first spring summit held since that of Lisbon; it ended in a climate of uncertainty and anxiety owing mainly to the repercussions of the attacks on September 11. The Belgian Presidency was supposed to be devoted to a debate on the future of the Union, following the failure of the Nice summit, but this topic quite simply disappeared from the list of priorities. Similarly, the Treaty's rejection at the Irish referendum in June has not appeared to cause any particular consternation.