EU Rotating Presidency

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The rotating presidency of the Council.

The Council is chaired by a rotating presidency. Each Member State takes a six-month term at the helm, chairing Council meetings themselves as well as the gatherings of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) and the working parties which prepare the Council’s work.

To ensure some degree of continuity between Member States’ terms, ‘trios’ covering three successive presidencies over an 18-month period are designated to try to develop and implement joint work programmes. Informal meetings, at ministerial or official level, often take place in the country holding the presidency, providing an opportunity to discuss priority issues, but without formal decisions being taken. (The Foreign Affairs Council and working parties in that field are chaired by the EU’s High Representative or his representatives.)

The graphic below shows the order in which Member States will take on the presidency and the designated trios. National delegations are seated around the table in order of the rotation, with each moving one place clockwise at the start of every six-month period. In addition, the graphic shows the voting weight of each Member State.

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