Presidency of the Council of the European Union
The presidency of the Council of the European Union , also known as the EU Council Presidency or Council Presidency , rotates according to (9) of the EU Treaty on an equal basis between the EU member states . Every six months, the Council Presidency changes between the EU member states according to a set order. The procedure can be changed unanimously by the European Council in accordance with b) of the FEU Treaty . It will meet under the chairmanship of Slovenia in the second half of 2021 .
Since the Council of the European Union meets in different configurations (e.g. as a Council of Economic Ministers , Council of Environment Ministers, etc.), a different minister takes the chair in each of these configurations. In the strict sense of the word, there is no such thing as a single President-in-Office of the Council. However, the General Affairs Council , in which the EU foreign ministers meet, plays a coordinating role between the various Council formations. This is why the foreign minister of the country holding the rotating presidency is often referred to as the council president.
In order to enable a certain degree of continuity despite the regular changes in the presidency, since 2007 three countries that formally hold the Council Presidency one after the other have been creating a joint "eighteen-month program". This collaboration is also known as a trio or team presidency . After the Treaty of Lisbon came into force in 2009, a decision by the European Council also gave it a basis in European law .
An exception to the system of rotating Council presidencies is the Foreign Affairs Council , which has been chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy , who has been elected for five years since the Treaty of Lisbon came into force . Since December 1, 2019, this has been Josep Borrell .
As a result of the exit vote in Great Britain (which was originally supposed to take over the chairmanship in the second half of 2017, but has now renounced), a resolution was accepted by the member states on July 27, 2016 to bring the periods of the countries classified below forward by six months. "The EU has now set all Council presidencies up to the year 2030."
The tasks of the Council Presidency are:
- organize and conduct the meetings of the Council,
- in the event of problems between Member States or between the Council and other Union institutions, to work out compromise proposals in coordination with the parties concerned and
- to represent the Council vis-à-vis other institutions and bodies of the Union, as well as vis-à-vis other international organizations and third countries .
The Council President is assisted in these activities by the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union .
Since the Council Presidency changes every six months, it is difficult to continuously oversee long-term political tasks. That is why, since 2007, three successive Council presidencies have been working together in what is known as a “trio presidency”. This can be seen on the one hand in the development of a joint eighteen -month program to which the six-monthly programs of the individual Council presidencies are coordinated. On the other hand, the respective Council President can also be represented by one of the other two countries at meetings. The exact arrangement of the division of labor between the three members of the trio presidency is up to them.
Eighteen-month program (trio program)
Pursuant to Article 2, Paragraph 6 of the Rules of Procedure of the Council of the European Union , the three-man presidency draws up a draft program for the joint trio every 18 months in close cooperation with the European Commission , the President of the European Council and the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy - Period (eighteen-month Council program or trio program for short). This program is divided into three parts, with the first part setting out the strategic framework of the program in a larger context and in particular from the perspective of longer-term objectives relevant to the three successive Presidencies. A second part lists the specific priorities of the three Presidencies in each policy area, while the third part consists of a comprehensive program of the issues to be dealt with over the eighteen month period. The eighteen month program will be submitted to the General Affairs Council for approval at least one month before the relevant period .
According to Article 3 (1) of the Council's rules of procedure, the eighteen-month program must be taken into account when drawing up the agenda for each meeting.
A first system of a “triple” or “ troika ” presidency was introduced as early as 1981, after the Council Presidency had gained political importance, especially in the area of European political cooperation , and at the same time the burden on the individual governments had increased. The presidency has since been assisted by a small staff of officials posted by previous and subsequent presidencies. These officials remained in the service of their national foreign ministry and were part of the staff of their embassy in the capital of the presidency. But they were available to the presidency and worked under its leadership. The president could also delegate certain tasks to his successor or ask his predecessor to end tasks that were about to be completed when the presidency was handed over. This should enable a smooth transition from one presidency to the next.
In 2004, the EU Constitutional Treaty provided for the transition to a “trio presidency” in which three member states were to jointly carry out the work of the presidency. Each of the three countries should formally continue to hold the presidency for six months, but the associated tasks should be able to be shared among the three countries. While in the Troika model the members of the Troika changed every six months, the Trio Presidency should remain unchanged over the entire period of 18 months.
Although the constitutional treaty failed in the ratification process, this system was introduced in January 2007 with a change in the Council's rules of procedure . The first trio therefore formed the German , Portuguese and Slovenian Council Presidencies in 2007/2008. In the run-up to their Council Presidency, the three countries adopted a joint work program in which they coordinated their national initiatives and priorities. The Treaty of Lisbon , which was passed in 2007, finally took up the provisions of the constitutional treaty and created the possibility of formalizing the trio presidency by means of an EU resolution ( TFEU ). A corresponding resolution was passed immediately after the contract came into force on December 1, 2009.
Council presidencies in chronological order
The following table shows the countries that have held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union to date , with their respective Foreign Ministers who have held the Presidency of the General Affairs Council . After the establishment of the European Council , in which the heads of state and government of the EU have met since 1974 , its presidency was initially linked to the council presidency. With the Treaty of Lisbon , the office of permanent President of the European Council was created from December 2009 , who no longer belongs to the government of a specific member state.
|Portuguese EU Council Presidency||
Slovenian EU Council Presidency
July 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021
|French EU Council Presidency|
- Cycle 1 to 5 → EEC-6 = Belgium, FR Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands
- Cycle 6 to 7 → EG-9 = EWG-6 + Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom
- Cycle 8 → EG-10 = EG-9 + Greece
- Cycle 9 to 10 → EG-12 = EG-10 + Portugal, Spain; Termination of the 10th cycle, only 11 of the 12 EC countries (excluding Portugal) and early start of the 11th cycle of the EU-15 with Austria
- Cycle 11 → EU-15 = EG-12 + Finland, Austria, Sweden
- Cycle 12 → EU-25 = EU-15 + Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Cyprus; Omission of Great Britain after the vote to leave the EU, thus early start of the 13th cycle. - The 12th cycle therefore without Estonia and the beginning of the 13th cycle with Estonia. ¹
- Cycle 13 → EU-27 = EU-25 + Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia - UK exit from the EU
¹ Originally the United Kingdom was supposed to take over the EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2017. After the British vote to leave the EU (“Brexit”) on June 23, 2016, the European Parliament demanded that the UK should not hold an EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2017. For its part, the British government announced on July 20, 2016 that it would not hold the Council Presidency. The EU states therefore decided to bring the presidency of Estonia and the countries that had been divided up to 2020 (i.e. up to and including Croatia) forward by six months each. Originally, Estonia should not have assumed the chairmanship until the 100th anniversary of the founding of the state, and Austria not in the half-year (2nd half of 2018) in which the next National Council elections should normally take place.
² On July 26, 2016, the Council decided on the order of the presidencies until 2030.
Parliamentary dimension of the EU Council Presidency
A parliamentary dimension of the EU Council Presidency has developed since 2000 . The national parliamentary chambers shape the dimension at their own discretion, whereby the parliamentary speakers of the European Union agreed on common rules of procedure in the year 2000. This was last changed during the Conference of the Presidents of Parliament of the European Union (EU-PPK) in Stockholm in 2010. The parliamentary dimension of the EU Council Presidency is independent of the EU Council Presidency. The final communique is also sent regularly to the President of the European Commission.
With the initial issue date July 2, 2020 was the German Post AG on the occasion of the EU Presidency of the Federal Republic of Germany a special stamp in the denomination out of 80 euro cents. The design comes from the graphic designers Annette le Fort and André Heers from Berlin.
- EU Presidency website
- The eighteen-month program of the Spanish, Belgian and Hungarian Presidencies, draft of November 27, 2009 (PDF, 442 KiB)
- The eighteen-month program of the Polish, Danish and Cypriot Presidencies, June 17, 2011 (PDF; 424 kB)
- Schedule of the current EU Council Presidency as a wall calendar
- Scientific Service of the German Bundestag - Program of the Cyprus Presidency of the EU 2012 (PDF, 63 KiB)
- http://orf.at/#/stories/2351301/ Fix: Estonia takes over EU presidency for Great Britain, orf.at, July 27, 2016, accessed July 27, 2016.
- European Parliament : "European policy in a duet: the Council Presidency and Parliament" (Europarl website)
- Federal Foreign Office: Joint press release by the trio partners Germany, Portugal and Slovenia on the 18-month program. Retrieved June 16, 2020 .
- Report on European Political Cooperation (London, October 13, 1981), in Bulletin of the European Communities (1981), special supplement 3/1981, pp. 15-19.
- See Declaration 4 (PDF) on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe.
- Parliament wants a quick “Brexit” against uncertainty and far-reaching EU reform. In: European Parliament. Retrieved July 1, 2016 .
- Brussels: Great Britain waives its 2017 EU Council Presidency. Spiegel Online, July 20, 2016, accessed on the same day.
- Estonia is to take over the EU Presidency for Great Britain in 2017. Süddeutsche via dpa -Newskanal, July 20, 2016, accessed on August 26, 2020 .
- http://orf.at//stories/2351354/ “Brexit” pushes EU presidency in election time, orf.at July 27, 2016, accessed March 12, 2017.
- European Council: Rotating Council Presidency: Decision to change the order of July 26, 2016, accessed on August 4, 2016.
- President of Parliament of the European Union: Rules of Procedure of thePresidents of Parliament of the European Union. (PDF) Secretariat of the Conference of Presidents of Parliaments of the European Union, accessed on January 14, 2020 .