Austria has assumed the presidency of the European Union for a six-month term.
Britain, which had held the EU leadership since July, turned over the presidency to Austria and its Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel Sunday.
Britain led the European Union during difficult and prolonged negotiations on a new budget for the 25-member group, and also bridged deep divisions within the bloc to begin talks with Turkey on EU membership for the secular Muslim state.
During Austria's leadership term, Chancellor Schuessel will try to revive efforts to reach agreement on a controversial European constitution. The project was all but abandoned since French and Dutch voters rejected the charter last year.
Finland is next in line for the EU presidency after Austria's term.
Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.