On the occasion of the political endorsement of the next the 18-month programme of the Council, prepared by the future German, Portuguese and Slovenian Presidencies and the High Representative, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Council, the Trio partners declared:

Michael ROTH, German Minister of State for Europe:

Back in 2007, we formed the first EU trio presidency. Today, in 2020, in the middle of the Corona crisis, we would have had to invent it. We have developed a common programme for the next 18 months and we will need a long breath for the way ahead: together, we have to overcome the Corona crisis. At the same time, we will work towards a more social, sustainable and democratic Europe. Especially in these times of crisis, Europe needs to stand to its values and strengthen the rule of law in all EU member states. We must also find a solidary response in the area of migration and pursue the fight against climate change.

Ana Paula ZACARIAS, Portuguese State Secretary for European Affairs:

We have built a true “Trio Spirit”. The Trio programme reflects our common vision on what the European Union’s priorities should be in the coming 18 months. It includes European solutions to improve the resilience of our economies in face of the unprecedented economic crisis we are living because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trio programme pays special attention to the social dimension of the crisis and to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Social Summit in May 2021 is intended to give political impetus to this objective.

Gašper DOVŽAN, Slovenian State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Slovenia is delighted to be on its way to hold the EU Presidency for the second time, in a fine company of our friends, Germany and Portugal. To get Europe’s societies and economies back to full functioning, we will need to foster a sustainable and inclusive growth, while integrating the green transition and the digital transformation. We also need to improve the resilience of Europe by developing plans for tackling emergencies such as pandemics, global cyber-attacks or migration pressures. Moreover, the Trio will pursue an ambitious neighbourhood policy towards the East and the South.


For the period from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2021, Germany, Portugal and Slovenia will form a so-called trio presidency of the Council of the European Union. Back in 2007-08, the three EU Member States formed the first trio in EU history. Each trio presidency draws up a joint draft programme for the trio period in cooperation with the Council President, the Commission and - in the area of EU external relations - with the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (“18-month Programme of the Council”, or “Trio Programme” for short).

On 16 June 2020, the General Affairs Council held a public policy debate on the Programme. Formal adoption will then take place by written procedure, which is expected to be completed by the end of the week. Already in the first week of June, governments of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia approved the joint draft for the Trio Programme.

With the adoption of the trio programme, a process of coordination between Germany, Portugal and Slovenia that had lasted over a year was concluded. The Trio Programme forms the common basis for close cooperation between the three Presidencies and serves as a contribution to a coherent European agenda in the next 18 months.