CEMApεdia: Rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU

The rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Presidency of the Council of the EU rotates among member states every 6 months.

Latvia took up the Presidency of the Council of the EU for the first time on 1 January 2015. You can check the website of the Latvian Presidency HERE

To ensure some coordination and consistency in EU policies, countries chairing the Presidency work together in groups of three, called 'trios'. This system was introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. The trio sets long-term goals and prepares a common agenda determining the topics and major issues that will be addressed by the Council over an 18 month period. On the basis of this programme, each of the 3 countries prepares its own more detailed six-month programme. The current trio is made up of the presidencies of Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg.

The Presidency chairs meetings at all levels: Council, Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) and working parties. It puts forward guidelines and draws up the compromises needed for the Council to take decisions.

The tasks of the presidency

1. Planning and chairing meetings in the Council and its preparatory bodies

The presidency chairs meetings of the different Council configurations (with the exception of the Foreign Affairs Council) and the Council's preparatory bodies, which include permanent committees such as the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper), and working parties and committees dealing with very specific subjects.

It also organises various formal and informal meetings in Brussels and in the country of the rotating presidency.

2. Representing the Council in relations with the other EU institutions

The presidency represents the Council in relations with the other EU institutions, particularly with the Commission and the European Parliament. Its role is to try and reach agreement on legislative files through trialogues, informal negotiation meetings and Conciliation Committee meetings.

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