Presidency of the EU - draft


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Presidency of the EU - draft

  1. 1. What does it take to run the Council of the European Union? of the European Union? of the European Union?
  2. 2. How does the council leadership work? > Presided over by a country, not just one person > This country’s leadership lasts six months > 28 member states take turns to lead the council > Presidency meets monthly in Strasbourg, France
  3. 3. What does the Presidency do? Presidency do? > At first considered quite powerless > Now considered the prime decision maker of the EU > Most important laws debated by members > Make the riskiest decisions
  4. 4. A brief history of leadership > 1958: Belgium, West Germany > 1959-73: Rotation of France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands > from 1973: Denmark > from 1977: United Kingdom > June to December 2013 (now): Lithuania
  5. 5. Roles in EU development > Progressive deepening of European integration > Profusion of technical/sectoral councils > Expansion of Coreper influence > Proliferation of Council working groups > Impact of intergovernmental cooperations in foreign/security policy, justice and home affairs
  6. 6. Responsibilities > Presenting a presidency program, reporting on the conduct of the presidency to EU Parliament > Preparing and overlooking meetings of the council, subcommittees and working groups > Making deals in the Council to reach agreement on legislative proposals > Launching policy initiatives > Acting as EU spokesperson
  7. 7. More functions > Numerous events during six-month presidency > Five informal council meetings > Educational function tries to enlighten public about benefits of EU, especially in Eurosceptic countries > Government in Presidency more likely to make concessions to increase productivity and prestige
  8. 8. Dual personalities > Countries in the Presidency seek both to advance their own positions and to be impartial arbitrators > Reconcile national and presidential interests > Small countries must adapt more to deal with the strains of Presidency - usually do better job
  9. 9. Countering problems: Trio system Trio system > Because countries only get six months, there is not a lot of time to implement ideas > Idea of “trio” put forward in 2007 > Three presidencies work on common political programs in their tenure
  10. 10. Past and future trios > Germany, Portugal and Slovenia > France, Czech Republic and Sweden > Spain, Belgium and Hungary > Poland, Denmark and Cyprus > Ireland, Lithuania and Greece > Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg
  11. 11. Advantages > Smaller countries have chance to be heard > A chance to take the limelight for six months > Respects equality among the union 0.4 0.5 0.9 1.3 2.0 2.1 3.0 4.4 (pop. in millions)
  12. 12. Disadvantages > Countries have to wait 14 years to regain the Presidency > Lithuania 2013... Lithuania 2027 > Highlighting small countries only once in 14 years
  13. 13. One more disadvantage > Herman Van Rompuy is usually viewed as the face of the EU no matter which country is in charge > His role, President of the European Council, can be confused with the country’s role
  14. 14. Why two Presidencies? > Answer: Lisbon Treaty > Major amendment to the Treaty of Maastricht and the Treaty of Rome > Means a politician is chosen to be President of the European Council for two and a half years in qualified majority vote... > ...but countries still chair meetings for six months each!
  15. 15. Spanner in the wheel: Ireland Ireland > Original timetable was to have all states ratify the Treaty by 2008... > ...but Ireland rejected it in a referendum because it would impact on their constitution > Since all states have veto power, the Treaty was put on hold
  16. 16. Change of heart > In 2009, Ireland made concessions with EU > The whole of the Lisbon treaty was altered by these amendments! > Second referendum passed easily... YES NO
  17. 17. So... > Maastricht Treaty, article 15 (amended by Lisbon Treaty)... > “The European Council shall elect its President, by a qualified majority, for a term of two and a half years, renewable once. In the event of an impediment or serious misconduct, the European Council can end the President's term of office in accordance with the same procedure.”
  18. 18. Ireland’s presidency > January - June 2013 > Head of State: Edna Kenny (Taoiseach)
  19. 19. Ireland’s presidency > To secure economic stability > Investing in sustainable jobs and growth > To tackle global issues as united European front
  20. 20. Success > Angela Merkel (Germany): > “I would like to give my heartfelt thanks for an unusually successful presidency in which many dossiers were brought to a successful conclusion.”
  21. 21. Current Presidency: Lithuania > Since July 1, 2013 > Lithuania > Head of state: Dalia Grybauskaitė
  22. 22. Lithuania’s policies > To make a credible Europe with a stable financial sector > To grow Europe through research and development > To open Europe to global challenges and solve them