Tasks of the Council Presidency:
- Organising and chairing meetings of the Council and its preparatory bodies
The Presidency chairs meetings of the different Council configurations, apart from the Foreign Affairs Council, which is chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Council meetings take place in Brussels or Luxembourg, and informal ministerial meetings are held in the country holding the Presidency. It is the Presidency’s job to prepare the Council’s work as efficiently as possible and to find compromises capable of aligning the different positions of the EU Member States.
- Representing the Council in relations with the other EU institutions
The Presidency represents the Council in relations with the other EU institutions, especially the European Commission and the European Parliament. Its task, in negotiations and at meetings of the Conciliation Committee, is to work towards agreement on legislative proposals. At the beginning of its term, the Council Presidency submits its Work Programme to the European Parliament, and at the end a report. During its term, the Presidency reports to the European Parliament on the work of the Council, answers questions and participates in debates. In the legislative process, the Presidency also represents the Council in negotiations with the European Parliament.
- Representing the European Union in relations with third countries
The Council Presidency helps the High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy, the President of the European Council and the European Commission to represent the European Union at international level. The Council Presidency makes declarations and statements to the United Nations or the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) which have been coordinated in advance with the other EU Member States. The Presidency also speaks on behalf of the European Union at major international conferences.
The order for the rotating Presidency has been fixed by the European Council for the period from 2016 to 2030. Germany will be followed as Presidency of the Council of the EU by Portugal (from 1 January 2021) and Slovenia (from 1 July 2021). Together, the three Presidencies form a “Trio”, whose joint programme has been adopted by the EU Member States.