Presidency of the Council of the EU
Every six months, a different EU Member State assumes the presidency of the Council of the EU based on a fixed rotation principle.
This presidency of the Council of the EU changes every six months. The order of the countries is set by the Council in a unanimous vote.
Responsibilities of the presidency of the Council of the EU:
- Plan and chair all meetings of the European Council, the Council of the EU, and the preparatory committees and working groups of the Council of the EU;
- Represent the Council of the EU in relations with the other EU bodies and institutions, the European Commission and the European Parliament;
- Represent the EU in international negotiations and in relations with non-Member States
Austria has assumed the presidency of the Council of the EU three times since its EU accession in 1995: first, in the second half of 1998, then in the first half of 2006 and most recently, in the second half of 2018.
The three Member States holding successive presidencies work closely together in what is known as a trio. This system was introduced with the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. The trio sets long-term goals and prepares a joint 18-month programme that stipulates the issues the Council will cover over those 18 months. Based on this programme, each of the three members of the trio then draws up its own six-month presidency programme.
The current trio presidency consists of Romania, Finland and Croatia.
Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2019:
First half of the year: Romania
Second half of the year: Finland