The Presidency of the Council of the European Union

présidence polonaiseThe presidency of the Council of the European Union, also known as the presidency of the European Union (EU), is taken in turn by each of the 28 countries of the European Union, according to a rotation system for a predetermined period of six months. The order of rotation is determined unanimously by the Council of the EU, based on the principle of alternating between "major" and "minor" member states. The presidency change takes place on January 1st and July 1st each year.

With the enactment of the Treaty of Lisbon, the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union is coupled with a stable presidency of the European Council. The current president of the European Council is the Belgian Herman Van Rompuy for a period of two and a half years.

The Council of the European Union meets to discuss specific subjects, and each member state is represented by a minister.Conseil européen de Strasbourg 8 et 9 décembre 1989 Its rotating presidency decides the political agenda and chairs the discussions between the various ministers such as the minister of finance, the minister of the interior, etc. A note worthy exception is the meetings of the ministers of Foreign Affiars, which are chaired by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

For efficiency's sake, the rotating presidencies are grouped by three to define their priorities. Ireland, Lithuania and Greece are the current "triplet" from January 2013 to June 2014. Their main objectives are to ensure a bigger economic growth and a lower unemployment rate.

For more information, visit the website of the Presidency of the EU today

Current presidency: Greece

Photo: European Council in Strasbourg on 8 and December 9, 1989 © European Communities


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