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Presidency of the EU - draft

Presidency of the EU - draft







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    Presidency of the EU - draft Presidency of the EU - draft Presentation Transcript

    • What does it take to run the Council of the European Union? of the European Union? of the European Union?
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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)
    • Disadvantages > Countries have to wait 14 years to regain the Presidency > Lithuania 2013... Lithuania 2027 > Highlighting small countries only once in 14 years
    • 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
    • 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!
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.”
    • Ireland’s presidency > January - June 2013 > Head of State: Edna Kenny (Taoiseach)
    • Ireland’s presidency > To secure economic stability > Investing in sustainable jobs and growth > To tackle global issues as united European front
    • 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.”
    • Current Presidency: Lithuania > Since July 1, 2013 > Lithuania > Head of state: Dalia Grybauskaitė
    • 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