The Info List - Presidency Of The Council Of The European Union

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The presidency of the Council of the European Union[1] is responsible for the functioning of the Council of the European Union, the upper house of the EU legislature. It rotates among the member states of the EU every six months. The presidency is not an individual, but rather the position is held by a national government. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the "president of the European Union" though this doesn't even exist. The presidency's function is to chair meetings of the Council, determine its agendas, set a work programme and facilitate dialogue both at Council meetings and with other EU institutions. The presidency is currently (as of January 2018) held by Bulgaria. Three successive presidencies are known as presidency trios.[2] The current trio (2017-18) is made up of Estonia
(Jul-Dec 2017), Bulgaria (Jan-Jun 2018) and Austria
(Jul-Dec 2018).


1 History 2 Functioning 3 List of rotations 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

History[edit] When the Council was established, its work was minimal and the presidency rotated between each of the then six members every six months. However, as the work load of the Council grew and the membership increased, the lack of coordination between each successive six-month presidency hindered the development of long-term priorities for the EU. In order to rectify the lack of coordination, the idea of trio presidencies was put forward where groups of three successive presidencies cooperated on a common political program. This was implemented in 2007 and formally laid down in the EU treaties in 2009 by the Treaty of Lisbon. Until 2009, the Presidency had assumed political responsibility in all areas of European integration
European integration
and it played a vital role in brokering high-level political decisions. The Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon
reduced the importance of the Presidency significantly by officially separating the European Council
European Council
from the Council of the European Union. Simultaneously it split the foreign affairs Council configuration from the General Affairs configuration and created the position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. After the United Kingdom's Brexit
vote in 2016 and its subsequent relinquishment of its scheduled presidency in the Council of the European Union
European Union
which was due to take place from July to December 2017, the rotation of presidencies was brought six months forward. Estonia was scheduled take over the UK's six-month slot instead.[3] The presidency is currently (as of January 2018) held by Bulgaria. Functioning[edit]

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The Council meets in various formations where its composition depends on the topic discussed. For example, the Agriculture Council is composed of the national ministers responsible for Agriculture.[4] The primary responsibility of the Presidency is to organise and chair all meetings of the Council, apart from the Foreign Affairs Council which is chaired by the High Representative. So, for instance, the Minister of Agriculture for the state holding the presidency chairs the Agriculture council. This role includes working out compromises capable of resolving difficulties. Article 16(9) of the Treaty on European Union
European Union

The Presidency of Council configurations, other than that of Foreign Affairs, shall be held by Member State representatives in the Council on the basis of equal rotation, in accordance with the conditions established in accordance with Article 236 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Each three successive presidencies cooperate on a "triple-shared presidency" work together over an 18-month period to accomplish a common agenda by the current president simply continuing the work of the previous "lead-president" after the end of his/her term. This ensures more consistency in comparison to a usual single six-month presidency and each three includes a new member state. This allows new member states to hold the presidency sooner and helps old member states pass their experience to the new members. The role of the rotating Council Presidency includes:

agenda-setting powers: in its 6-month programme, it decides on the order to discuss propositions, after they have been submitted by the Commission in its agenda monopoly powers; brokering inter-institutional compromise: trialogues between Commission, Parliament and Council are held to reach early consensus in the codecision legislative procedure; the Presidency takes part to the Conciliation Committee between Parliament and Council in the 3rd stage of the codecision legislative procedure; coordinating national policies and brokering compromise between member states in the Council ("confessional system") management and administration of the Council, external and internal representation;

Holding the rotating Council Presidency includes both advantages and disadvantages for member states; The opportunities include:

member states have the possibility to show their negotiating skills, as "honest brokers", thus gaining influence and prestige; member states gain a privileged access to information: at the end of their term, they know member states' preferences better than anyone else the Council programme may enable member states to focus Council discussion on issues of particular national/regional interest (e.g.: Finland
and the Northern Dimension initiative)

The burdens include:

lack of administrative capacities and experience, especially for small and new member states; the concept of trio/troika has been introduced to enable member states to share experiences and ensure coherence on an 18-months base; expenses in time and money, needed to support the administrative machine; not being able to push through their own interests, as the role of Council Presidency is seen as an impartial instance; member states trying to push for initiatives of their own national interest are likely to see them failing in the medium run (e.g., the French 2008 Presidency and the Union for the Mediterranean
Union for the Mediterranean
project), as they need consensus and do not have enough time to reach it. This element is particularly substantial: holding the presidency may be, on balance, a disadvantage for member states.

The rotating presidency is probably not needed any more, with the 2009 reforms by the Treaty of Lisbon, but reforming it has proved incredibly difficult: it still enables little states to stand up and try to push forward vital policies; it represents a sharing of administrative burdens, enabling the coordination of policies, the stability of the Council agenda (through the troika) and providing learning and experience for member states' public administrations. List of rotations[edit]

Period Trio Holder Head of government [note 1] Website

1958 Jan–Jun    Belgium Achille Van Acker Gaston Eyskens
Gaston Eyskens
(from 26 June)  

Jul–Dec  West Germany Konrad Adenauer

1959 Jan–Jun  France Charles de Gaulle*

Jul–Dec  Italy Antonio Segni

1960 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Pierre Werner

Jul–Dec  Netherlands Jan de Quay

1961 Jan–Jun  Belgium Gaston Eyskens Théo Lefèvre
Théo Lefèvre
(from 25 April)

Jul–Dec  West Germany Konrad Adenauer

1962 Jan–Jun  France Charles de Gaulle*

Jul–Dec  Italy Amintore Fanfani

1963 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Pierre Werner

Jul–Dec  Netherlands Jan de Quay Victor Marijnen
Victor Marijnen
(from 24 July)

1964 Jan–Jun  Belgium Théo Lefèvre

Jul–Dec  West Germany Ludwig Erhard

1965 Jan–Jun  France Charles de Gaulle*

Jul–Dec  Italy Aldo Moro

1966 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Pierre Werner

Jul–Dec  Netherlands Jo Cals Jelle Zijlstra
Jelle Zijlstra
(from 22 November)

1967 Jan–Jun  Belgium Paul Vanden Boeynants

Jul–Dec  West Germany Kurt Georg Kiesinger

1968 Jan–Jun  France Charles de Gaulle*

Jul–Dec  Italy Giovanni Leone Mariano Rumor
Mariano Rumor
(from 12 December)

1969 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Pierre Werner

Jul–Dec  Netherlands Piet de Jong

1970 Jan–Jun  Belgium Gaston Eyskens

Jul–Dec  West Germany Willy Brandt

1971 Jan–Jun  France Georges Pompidou*

Jul–Dec  Italy Emilio Colombo

1972 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Pierre Werner

Jul–Dec  Netherlands Barend Biesheuvel

1973 Jan–Jun  Belgium Gaston Eyskens Edmond Leburton (from 26 January)

Jul–Dec  Denmark Anker Jørgensen Poul Hartling
Poul Hartling
(from 19 December)

1974 Jan–Jun  West Germany Willy Brandt Walter Scheel
Walter Scheel
(7–16 May) Helmut Schmidt
Helmut Schmidt
(from 16 May)

Jul–Dec  France Valéry Giscard d'Estaing*

1975 Jan–Jun  Ireland Liam Cosgrave

Jul–Dec  Italy Aldo Moro

1976 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Gaston Thorn

Jul–Dec  Netherlands Joop den Uyl

1977 Jan–Jun  United Kingdom James Callaghan

Jul–Dec  Belgium Leo Tindemans

1978 Jan–Jun  Denmark Anker Jørgensen

Jul–Dec  West Germany Helmut Schmidt

1979 Jan–Jun  France Valéry Giscard d'Estaing*

Jul–Dec  Ireland Jack Lynch Charles Haughey (from 11 December)

1980 Jan–Jun  Italy Francesco Cossiga

Jul–Dec  Luxembourg Pierre Werner

1981 Jan–Jun  Netherlands Dries van Agt

Jul–Dec  United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher

1982 Jan–Jun  Belgium Wilfried Martens

Jul–Dec  Denmark Anker Jørgensen Poul Schlüter
Poul Schlüter
(from 10 September)

1983 Jan–Jun  West Germany Helmut Kohl

Jul–Dec  Greece Andreas Papandreou

1984 Jan–Jun  France François Mitterrand*

Jul–Dec  Ireland Garret FitzGerald

1985 Jan–Jun  Italy Bettino Craxi

Jul–Dec  Luxembourg Jacques Santer

1986 Jan–Jun  Netherlands Ruud Lubbers

Jul–Dec  United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher

1987 Jan–Jun  Belgium Wilfried Martens

Jul–Dec  Denmark Poul Schlüter

1988 Jan–Jun  West Germany Helmut Kohl

Jul–Dec  Greece Andreas Papandreou

1989 Jan–Jun  Spain Felipe González

Jul–Dec  France François Mitterrand*

1990 Jan–Jun  Ireland Charles Haughey

Jul–Dec  Italy Giulio Andreotti

1991 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Jacques Santer

Jul–Dec  Netherlands Ruud Lubbers

1992 Jan–Jun  Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva

Jul–Dec  United Kingdom John Major

1993 Jan–Jun  Denmark Poul Schlüter Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
(from 25 January)

Jul–Dec  Belgium Jean-Luc Dehaene

1994 Jan–Jun  Greece Andreas Papandreou

Jul–Dec  Germany Helmut Kohl

1995 Jan–Jun  France François Mitterrand* Jacques Chirac* (from 17 May)

Jul–Dec  Spain Felipe González

1996 Jan–Jun  Italy Lamberto Dini Romano Prodi
Romano Prodi
(from 17 May)

Jul–Dec  Ireland John Bruton

1997 Jan–Jun  Netherlands Wim Kok

Jul–Dec  Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker

1998 Jan–Jun  United Kingdom Tony Blair presid.fco.gov.uk

Jul–Dec  Austria Viktor Klima presidency.gv.at

1999 Jan–Jun  Germany Gerhard Schröder

Jul–Dec  Finland Paavo Lipponen presidency.finland.fi

2000 Jan–Jun  Portugal António Guterres

Jul–Dec  France Jacques Chirac*

2001 Jan–Jun  Sweden Göran Persson eu2001.se

Jul–Dec  Belgium Guy Verhofstadt eu2001.be

2002 Jan–Jun  Spain José María Aznar ue2002.es

Jul–Dec  Denmark Anders Fogh Rasmussen eu2002.dk

2003 Jan–Jun  Greece Costas Simitis eu2003.gr

Jul–Dec  Italy Silvio Berlusconi ueitalia2003.it

2004 Jan–Jun  Ireland Bertie Ahern eu2004.ie

Jul–Dec  Netherlands Jan Peter Balkenende eu2004.nl

2005 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker eu2005.lu

Jul–Dec  United Kingdom Tony Blair eu2005.gov.uk

2006 Jan–Jun  Austria Wolfgang Schüssel eu2006.at

Jul–Dec  Finland[note 2] Matti Vanhanen eu2006.fi

2007 Jan–Jun T1  Germany Angela Merkel eu2007.de

Jul–Dec  Portugal José Sócrates eu2007.pt

2008 Jan–Jun  Slovenia Janez Janša eu2008.si

Jul–Dec T2  France Nicolas Sarkozy* ue2008.fr

2009 Jan–Jun  Czech Republic Mirek Topolánek Jan Fischer (from 8 May) eu2009.cz

Jul–Dec  Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt se2009.eu

2010 Jan–Jun T3  Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero eu2010.es eutrio.es

Jul–Dec  Belgium Yves Leterme eutrio.be

2011 Jan–Jun  Hungary Viktor Orbán eu2011.hu

Jul–Dec T4  Poland Donald Tusk pl2011.eu

2012 Jan–Jun  Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt eu2012.dk

Jul–Dec  Cyprus Demetris Christofias* cy2012.eu

2013 Jan–Jun T5  Ireland Enda Kenny eu2013.ie

Jul–Dec  Lithuania Algirdas Butkevičius eu2013.lt

2014 Jan–Jun  Greece Antonis Samaras gr2014.eu

Jul–Dec T6  Italy Matteo Renzi italia2014.eu

2015 Jan–Jun  Latvia Laimdota Straujuma eu2015.lv

Jul–Dec  Luxembourg Xavier Bettel eu2015lu.eu

2016 Jan–Jun T7  Netherlands Mark Rutte eu2016.nl

Jul–Dec  Slovakia Robert Fico eu2016.sk

2017 Jan–Jun  Malta Joseph Muscat eu2017.mt

Jul–Dec T8  Estonia[note 3] Jüri Ratas eu2017.ee

2018 Jan-Jun  Bulgaria Boyko Borisov eu2018bg.bg

Jul–Dec  Austria Sebastian Kurz eu2018.at

2019 Jan–Jun T9  Romania TBD TBD

Jul–Dec  Finland TBD TBD

2020 Jan–Jun  Croatia TBD TBD

Jul-Dec T10  Germany TBD TBD

2021 Jan–Jun  Portugal TBD TBD

Jul-Dec  Slovenia TBD TBD

2022 Jan–Jun T11  France TBD TBD

Jul-Dec  Czech Republic TBD TBD

2023 Jan–Jun  Sweden TBD TBD

Jul-Dec T12  Spain TBD TBD

2024 Jan–Jun  Belgium TBD TBD

Jul-Dec  Hungary TBD TBD

2025 Jan–Jun T13  Poland TBD TBD

Jul-Dec  Denmark TBD TBD

2026 Jan–Jun  Cyprus TBD TBD

Jul-Dec T14  Ireland TBD TBD

2027 Jan–Jun  Lithuania TBD TBD

Jul-Dec  Greece TBD TBD

2028 Jan–Jun T15  Italy TBD TBD

Jul-Dec  Latvia TBD TBD

2029 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg TBD TBD

Jul-Dec T16  Netherlands TBD TBD

2030 Jan–Jun  Slovakia TBD TBD

Jul-Dec  Malta TBD TBD

See also[edit]

List of presidents of the institutions of the European Union

President of the European Parliament President of the European Council President of the European Commission

President of the European Union Council of the European Union


^ Asterisk: Head of government is also head of state. This is the case for France
and Cyprus. ^ Germany
was due to succeed Austria
in 2006 but stepped aside as general elections were scheduled for that period. Finland, as next in line, took Germany's place. Eventually the German elections took place in 2005 due to a loss of confidence vote, but the re-arrangement remained. ^ It was originally intended for the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
to hold the presidency from 1 July to 31 December 2017, but after a referendum in June 2016 to leave the EU, the UK government informed the European Union that it would abandon its presidency for late 2017 and was replaced instead by Estonia.


^ [1] ^ "Council of the European Union". Consilium. Retrieved 14 May 2016.  ^ "Council rotating presidencies: decision on revised order" (Press release). Council of the European Union. 2016-07-26. Retrieved 2016-07-26.  ^ " Council of the European Union
Council of the European Union
configurations". Council of the EU. 

External links[edit]

Presidency of the Council of the European Union Logos of the Council Presidencies Council Decision of 1 January 2007 determining the order in which the office of President of the Council shall be held (2007/5/EC, Euratom) Implications of the Polish Presidency of the EU for Europe and Transatlantic Affairs, lecture by Maciej Pisarski (Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland
in Washington, DC), delivered at the University of Illinois, 2 December 2011 Cyprus
takes over EU presidency amid doubts

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