© picture alliance

1958 – First German Presidency

The Treaties of Rome are signed on 25 March 1957 by the Benelux countries, France, Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the treaties' entry into force, Belgium is the first country to hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Economic Community (EEC). In the second half of 1958, the Council Presidency is taken over by Germany. Achievements during this period include laying the foundation of the common agricultural policy.

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1961 – Second German Presidency

In the Bonn Declaration, adopted during the second German Presidency of the Council of the EEC, the heads of state and government express their resolve to create a political union. Shortly thereafter, the construction of the Berlin Wall cements the division of Germany and Europe.

1964 – Third German Presidency

During Germany’s third presidency of the Council of the EEC, Federal Chancellor Ludwig Erhard (pictured in the centre) presents his Europe Initiative to the other member states. It calls for more intergovernmental cooperation in foreign, defence and cultural policy.

© imageBROKER/Michaela Bergsteiger


1967 – Fourth German Presidency

Following the entry into force of the Merger Treaty of the European Community (EC), a Joint Commission and a Joint Council are established for the then three European Communities: the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC). Germany assumes the first Presidency of the Council of the European Communities. Pictured: the European Commission Building in Brussels.

© picture alliance/dpa

1970 – Fifth German Presidency

The Federal Republic of Germany holds the Presidency of the Council for the fifth time. Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt and Foreign Minister Walter Scheel want to use this period to foster foreign policy cooperation between member states. The Davignon Report lays the foundations for European political cooperation. Brandt travels to Warsaw where he kneels down at a wreath-laying ceremony – an act that will go down in history as a great symbolic gesture.

© Benelux Press

1974 – Sixth German Presidency

Germany assumes the rotating Council Presidency for the sixth time at a difficult economic time following the first oil crisis that leads, among other things, to car-free Sundays. During these six months, the Council adopts a social policy action programme, which marks the first time that European social policy comes into its own.

1978 – Seventh German Presidency

During the seventh German presidency, the European Council meets at Bremen City Hall, where the heads of state and government discuss measures to fight rising unemployment and to stimulate growth in Europe. Later in the year, they decide to establish the European Monetary System.

© picture alliance/chromorange

1983 – Eighth German Presidency

Towards the end of the eighth German Presidency, the European Council gathers at the New Palace in Stuttgart and issues a Solemn Declaration on European Union. This marks the first time that the term “European Union” appears in a document of the European Communities.

© picture alliance/greatif Florian Gaul

1988 – Ninth German Presidency

During its ninth presidency, Germany advocates the idea of a European central bank (pictured) and a single currency. A committee of governors of the central banks of the EC member states is created to examine the idea of economic and monetary union.

© chromorange

1994 – Tenth German Presidency

This is the first Council Presidency held by Germany since reunification. At the European Council meeting in Essen, the heads of state and government adopt the pre-accession strategy for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

© picture alliance/ZB Sascha Steinach

1999 – Eleventh German Presidency

During what is now the eleventh German Presidency, the euro is introduced in non-physical form in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. The European Council meets in Cologne and issues, among other things, a report on strengthening the common European policy on security and defence. Work on drafting the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights begins.

© picture alliance/dpa, Lusa Miguel A. Lopez

2007 – Twelfth German Presidency

During the twelfth German Presidency, the Berlin Declaration is adopted to mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. It states: “We, the citizens of the European Union, have united for the better.” During Germany's Trio Presidency with Portugal and Slovenia, political agreement on the Treaty of Lisbon is reached during the German Presidency and solemnly signed during the Portuguese Presidency.