Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The presidency of the Council of the European Union[1] is responsible for the functioning of the Council of the European Union, the upper house of the EU legislature. It rotates among the member states of the EU every six months. The presidency is not an individual, but rather the position is held by a national government. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the "president of the European Union". The presidency's function is to chair meetings of the Council, determine its agendas, set a work programme and facilitate dialogue both at Council meetings and with other EU institutions. The presidency is currently (as of February 2019) held by Romania.

Three successive presidencies are known as presidency trios. The current trio (2019-20) is made up of Romania (Jan-Jun 2019), Finland (Jul-Dec 2019) and Croatia (Jan-Jun 2020).[2]

Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Council of the EU and European Council
Emblem of the Council
Flag of Europe
Flag of Romania
Currently held by
1 January 2019 – 30 June 2019
Council of the European Union
AppointerRotation among the EU member states
Term lengthSix months
Constituting instrumentTreaties of the European Union
First holderBelgium Belgium
Presidency trio
Romania RomaniaFinland FinlandCroatia Croatia


When the Council was established, its work was minimal and the presidency rotated between each of the then six members every six months. However, as the work load of the Council grew and the membership increased, the lack of coordination between each successive six-month presidency hindered the development of long-term priorities for the EU.

In order to rectify the lack of coordination, the idea of trio presidencies was put forward where groups of three successive presidencies cooperated on a common political program. This was implemented in 2007 and formally laid down in the EU treaties in 2009 by the Treaty of Lisbon.

Until 2009, the Presidency had assumed political responsibility in all areas of European integration and it played a vital role in brokering high-level political decisions.

The Treaty of Lisbon reduced the importance of the Presidency significantly by officially separating the European Council from the Council of the European Union. Simultaneously it split the foreign affairs Council configuration from the General Affairs configuration and created the position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

After the United Kingdom's Brexit vote in 2016 and its subsequent relinquishment of its scheduled presidency in the Council of the European Union which was due to take place from July to December 2017, the rotation of presidencies was brought six months forward. Estonia was scheduled to take over the UK's six-month slot instead.[3] The presidency is currently (as of January 2019) held by Romania.


The Council meets in various formations where its composition depends on the topic discussed. For example, the Agriculture Council is composed of the national ministers responsible for Agriculture.[4]

The primary responsibility of the Presidency is to organise and chair all meetings of the Council, apart from the Foreign Affairs Council which is chaired by the High Representative. So, for instance, the Minister of Agriculture for the state holding the presidency chairs the Agriculture council. This role includes working out compromises capable of resolving difficulties.

Article 16(9) of the Treaty on European Union provides:

The Presidency of Council configurations, other than that of Foreign Affairs, shall be held by Member State representatives in the Council on the basis of equal rotation, in accordance with the conditions established in accordance with Article 236 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Each three successive presidencies cooperate on a "triple-shared presidency" work together over an 18-month period to accomplish a common agenda by the current president simply continuing the work of the previous "lead-president" after the end of his/her term. This ensures more consistency in comparison to a usual single six-month presidency and each three includes a new member state. This allows new member states to hold the presidency sooner and helps old member states pass their experience to the new members.

The role of the rotating Council Presidency includes:

  • agenda-setting powers: in its 6-month programme, it decides on the order to discuss propositions, after they have been submitted by the Commission in its agenda monopoly powers;
  • brokering inter-institutional compromise: Formal Trilogue meetings between Commission, Parliament and Council are held to reach early consensus in the codecision legislative procedure; the Presidency takes part to the Conciliation Committee between Parliament and Council in the 3rd stage of the codecision legislative procedure;
  • coordinating national policies and brokering compromise between member states in the Council ("confessional system")
  • management and administration of the Council, external and internal representation;

Holding the rotating Council Presidency includes both advantages and disadvantages for member states; The opportunities include:

  1. member states have the possibility to show their negotiating skills, as "honest brokers", thus gaining influence and prestige;
  2. member states gain a privileged access to information: at the end of their term, they know member states' preferences better than anyone else
  3. the Council programme may enable member states to focus Council discussion on issues of particular national/regional interest (e.g.: Finland and the Northern Dimension initiative)

The burdens include:

  1. lack of administrative capacities and experience, especially for small and new member states; the concept of trio/troika has been introduced to enable member states to share experiences and ensure coherence on an 18-months base;
  2. expenses in time and money, needed to support the administrative machine;
  3. not being able to push through their own interests, as the role of Council Presidency is seen as an impartial instance; member states trying to push for initiatives of their own national interest are likely to see them failing in the medium run (e.g., the French 2008 Presidency and the Union for the Mediterranean project), as they need consensus and do not have enough time to reach it. This element is particularly substantial: holding the presidency may be, on balance, a disadvantage for member states.

The rotating presidency is probably not needed any more, with the 2009 reforms by the Treaty of Lisbon, but reforming it has proved incredibly difficult: it still enables little states to stand up and try to push forward vital policies; it represents a sharing of administrative burdens, enabling the coordination of policies, the stability of the Council agenda (through the troika) and providing learning and experience for member states' public administrations.

List of rotations

Period Trio Holder Head of government [note 1] Website
1958 Jan–Jun    Belgium Achille Van Acker
Gaston Eyskens (from 26 June)
Jul–Dec  West Germany Konrad Adenauer
1959 Jan–Jun  France Charles de Gaulle*
Jul–Dec  Italy Antonio Segni
1960 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Pierre Werner
Jul–Dec  Netherlands Jan de Quay
1961 Jan–Jun  Belgium Gaston Eyskens
Théo Lefèvre (from 25 April)
Jul–Dec  West Germany Konrad Adenauer
1962 Jan–Jun  France Charles de Gaulle*
Jul–Dec  Italy Amintore Fanfani
1963 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Pierre Werner
Jul–Dec  Netherlands Jan de Quay
Victor Marijnen (from 24 July)
1964 Jan–Jun  Belgium Théo Lefèvre
Jul–Dec  West Germany Ludwig Erhard
1965 Jan–Jun  France Charles de Gaulle*
Jul–Dec  Italy Aldo Moro
1966 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Pierre Werner
Jul–Dec  Netherlands Jo Cals
Jelle Zijlstra (from 22 November)
1967 Jan–Jun  Belgium Paul Vanden Boeynants
Jul–Dec  West Germany Kurt Georg Kiesinger
1968 Jan–Jun  France Charles de Gaulle*
Jul–Dec  Italy Giovanni Leone
Mariano Rumor (from 12 December)
1969 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Pierre Werner
Jul–Dec  Netherlands Piet de Jong
1970 Jan–Jun  Belgium Gaston Eyskens
Jul–Dec  West Germany Willy Brandt
1971 Jan–Jun  France Georges Pompidou*
Jul–Dec  Italy Emilio Colombo
1972 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Pierre Werner
Jul–Dec  Netherlands Barend Biesheuvel
1973 Jan–Jun  Belgium Gaston Eyskens
Edmond Leburton (from 26 January)
Jul–Dec  Denmark Anker Jørgensen
Poul Hartling (from 19 December)
1974 Jan–Jun  West Germany Willy Brandt
Walter Scheel (7–16 May)
Helmut Schmidt (from 16 May)
Jul–Dec  France Valéry Giscard d'Estaing*
1975 Jan–Jun  Ireland Liam Cosgrave
Jul–Dec  Italy Aldo Moro
1976 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Gaston Thorn
Jul–Dec  Netherlands Joop den Uyl
1977 Jan–Jun  United Kingdom James Callaghan
Jul–Dec  Belgium Leo Tindemans
1978 Jan–Jun  Denmark Anker Jørgensen
Jul–Dec  West Germany Helmut Schmidt
1979 Jan–Jun  France Valéry Giscard d'Estaing*
Jul–Dec  Ireland Jack Lynch
Charles Haughey
(from 11 December)
1980 Jan–Jun  Italy Francesco Cossiga
Jul–Dec  Luxembourg Pierre Werner
1981 Jan–Jun  Netherlands Dries van Agt
Jul–Dec  United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher
1982 Jan–Jun  Belgium Wilfried Martens
Jul–Dec  Denmark Anker Jørgensen
Poul Schlüter (from 10 September)
1983 Jan–Jun  West Germany Helmut Kohl
Jul–Dec  Greece Andreas Papandreou
1984 Jan–Jun  France François Mitterrand*
Jul–Dec  Ireland Garret FitzGerald
1985 Jan–Jun  Italy Bettino Craxi
Jul–Dec  Luxembourg Jacques Santer
1986 Jan–Jun  Netherlands Ruud Lubbers
Jul–Dec  United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher
1987 Jan–Jun  Belgium Wilfried Martens
Jul–Dec  Denmark Poul Schlüter
1988 Jan–Jun  West Germany Helmut Kohl
Jul–Dec  Greece Andreas Papandreou
1989 Jan–Jun  Spain Felipe González
Jul–Dec  France François Mitterrand*
1990 Jan–Jun  Ireland Charles Haughey
Jul–Dec  Italy Giulio Andreotti
1991 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Jacques Santer
Jul–Dec  Netherlands Ruud Lubbers
1992 Jan–Jun  Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva
Jul–Dec  United Kingdom John Major
1993 Jan–Jun  Denmark Poul Schlüter
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (from 25 January)
Jul–Dec  Belgium Jean-Luc Dehaene
1994 Jan–Jun  Greece Andreas Papandreou
Jul–Dec  Germany Helmut Kohl
1995 Jan–Jun  France François Mitterrand*
Jacques Chirac* (from 17 May)
Jul–Dec  Spain Felipe González
1996 Jan–Jun  Italy Lamberto Dini
Romano Prodi (from 17 May)
Jul–Dec  Ireland John Bruton
1997 Jan–Jun  Netherlands Wim Kok
Jul–Dec  Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker
1998 Jan–Jun  United Kingdom Tony Blair
Jul–Dec  Austria Viktor Klima
1999 Jan–Jun  Germany Gerhard Schröder
Jul–Dec  Finland Paavo Lipponen
2000 Jan–Jun  Portugal António Guterres
Jul–Dec  France Jacques Chirac*
2001 Jan–Jun  Sweden Göran Persson
Jul–Dec  Belgium Guy Verhofstadt
2002 Jan–Jun  Spain José María Aznar
Jul–Dec  Denmark Anders Fogh Rasmussen
2003 Jan–Jun  Greece Costas Simitis
Jul–Dec  Italy Silvio Berlusconi
2004 Jan–Jun  Ireland Bertie Ahern
Jul–Dec  Netherlands Jan Peter Balkenende
2005 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker
Jul–Dec  United Kingdom Tony Blair
2006 Jan–Jun  Austria Wolfgang Schüssel
Jul–Dec  Finland[note 2] Matti Vanhanen
2007 Jan–Jun T1  Germany Angela Merkel
Jul–Dec  Portugal José Sócrates
2008 Jan–Jun  Slovenia Janez Janša
Jul–Dec T2  France Nicolas Sarkozy*
2009 Jan–Jun  Czech Republic Mirek Topolánek
Jan Fischer (from 8 May)
Jul–Dec  Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt
2010 Jan–Jun T3  Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
Jul–Dec  Belgium Yves Leterme
2011 Jan–Jun  Hungary Viktor Orbán
Jul–Dec T4  Poland Donald Tusk
2012 Jan–Jun  Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Jul–Dec  Cyprus Demetris Christofias*
2013 Jan–Jun T5  Ireland Enda Kenny
Jul–Dec  Lithuania Algirdas Butkevičius
2014 Jan–Jun  Greece Antonis Samaras
Jul–Dec T6  Italy Matteo Renzi
2015 Jan–Jun  Latvia Laimdota Straujuma
Jul–Dec  Luxembourg Xavier Bettel
2016 Jan–Jun T7  Netherlands Mark Rutte
Jul–Dec  Slovakia Robert Fico
2017 Jan–Jun  Malta Joseph Muscat
Jul–Dec T8  Estonia[note 3] Jüri Ratas
2018 Jan-Jun  Bulgaria Boyko Borisov
Jul–Dec  Austria Sebastian Kurz
2019 Jan–Jun T9  Romania Viorica Dăncilă
Jul–Dec  Finland TBD TBD
2020 Jan–Jun  Croatia TBD TBD
Jul-Dec T10  Germany TBD TBD
2021 Jan–Jun  Portugal TBD TBD
Jul-Dec  Slovenia TBD TBD
2022 Jan–Jun T11  France TBD TBD
Jul-Dec  Czech Republic TBD
2023 Jan–Jun  Sweden TBD TBD
Jul-Dec T12  Spain TBD TBD
2024 Jan–Jun  Belgium TBD TBD
Jul-Dec  Hungary TBD TBD
2025 Jan–Jun T13  Poland TBD TBD
Jul-Dec  Denmark TBD TBD
2026 Jan–Jun  Cyprus TBD TBD
Jul-Dec T14  Ireland TBD TBD
2027 Jan–Jun  Lithuania TBD TBD
Jul-Dec  Greece TBD TBD
2028 Jan–Jun T15  Italy TBD TBD
Jul-Dec  Latvia TBD TBD
2029 Jan–Jun  Luxembourg TBD TBD
Jul-Dec T16  Netherlands TBD TBD
2030 Jan–Jun  Slovakia TBD TBD
Jul-Dec  Malta TBD TBD

See also


  1. ^ Asterisk: Head of government is also head of state. This is the case for France and Cyprus.
  2. ^ Germany was due to succeed Austria in 2006 but stepped aside as general elections were scheduled for that period. Finland, as next in line, took Germany's place. Eventually the German elections took place in 2005 due to a loss of confidence vote, but the re-arrangement remained.
  3. ^ It was originally intended for the United Kingdom to hold the presidency from 1 July to 31 December 2017, but after a referendum in June 2016 to leave the EU, the UK government informed the European Union that it would abandon its presidency for late 2017 and was replaced instead by Estonia.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Council of the European Union". Consilium. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Council rotating presidencies: decision on revised order" (Press release). Council of the European Union. 2016-07-26. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  4. ^ "Council of the European Union configurations". Council of the EU.

External links

2005 in Luxembourg

The following lists events that happened during 2005 in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

2011 in the European Union

Events from the year 2011 in the European Union.

2013 in the European Union

Events in the year 2013 in the European Union.

2013 was designated as:

European Year of Citizens

Berlin Declaration (2007)

The Berlin Declaration (officially the Declaration on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the signature of the Treaty of Rome) is a non-binding European Union (EU) text that was signed on 25 March 2007 in Berlin (Germany), celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome which founded the European Economic Community, the predecessor to the modern EU.

The Declaration was the brainchild of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2007. Designed to provide renewed impetus to the process of EU reform after the ratification of the European Constitution had failed, the Declaration aimed for a "renewed common basis" in time for the 2009 European Parliament elections. The German presidency followed up on the issue by brokering a consensus for what later became known as the Treaty of Lisbon.

Commission on Concealed Mass Graves in Slovenia

The Commission on Concealed Mass Graves in Slovenia (Slovene: Komisija za reševanje vprašanj prikritih grobišč) is an office of the Slovenian government whose task is to find and document mass grave sites from the Second World War and the period immediately after it. It was established on November 10, 2005. The commission handed its report to the Slovenian government in October 2009.

The newspaper Jutarnji reported the commission's findings; in all, it is estimated that there are 100,000 victims in 581 mass graves. The commission's findings were used for the Reports and Proceedings of the 8th of April European public hearing on Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes organised by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (January–June 2008) and the European Commission.

According to the “Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes," the killings were carried out by the Yugoslav Partisan Army in 1945 and 1946.

Committee of Permanent Representatives

For the OIC Committee of Permanent Representatives, see OIC Committee of Permanent Representatives.COREPER, from French Comité des représentants permanents, is the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union, made up of the head or deputy head of mission from the EU member states in Brussels.Its defined role is to prepare the agenda for the ministerial Council of the European Union meetings; it may also take some procedural decisions. It oversees and coordinates the work of some 250 committees and working parties made up of civil servants from the member states who work on issues at the technical level to be discussed later by COREPER and the Council. It is chaired by the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

There are in fact two committees:

COREPER I consists of deputy heads of mission and deals largely with social and economic issues;

COREPER II consists of heads of mission (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary) and deals largely with political, financial and foreign policy issues.Representatives of the Council Secretariat from the relevant Directorates and from the Legal Directorate are also present.

Weekly meetings are held in private; the agenda of the meeting is divided into

a part "I" (I points, items scheduled without debate) and

a part "II" (II points, items scheduled for debate).They divide the ministerial agenda into three categories:

I points which are for information and no ministerial decision is needed;

A points where the decision can be made without debate (but it has to be put off the agenda of this meeting if any national delegation opposes it being decided) and is often on a subject outside the detailed responsibility of the particular group of ministers;

B points where debate is needed and the decision may not be known in advance.An item may be described internally as a false B point - this is to give the public impression as a B point that ministers are actively debating it because of its importance when in fact it could have been treated as an A point because negotiation and compromise has already taken place in COREPER. Relatively few decisions are taken by ministers on true B points: they are usually sent back to COREPER until they can be returned as an A point or a false B point.

The deliberations and decisions of the Council itself under the co-decision procedure are, unlike all other Council meetings, including COREPER and Council working group meetings, public.

Article 240 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union lays down the legal basis of COREPER.

Coreper I, comprising the Deputy Permanent Representatives, prepares the ground for the following Council configurations:

Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs;

Competitiveness (internal market, industry, research, space and tourism);

Transport, Telecommunications and Energy;

Agriculture and Fisheries;


Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (including audiovisual);Coreper II, comprising the Permanent Representatives, prepares for the other configurations:

General Affairs

Foreign Affairs (including European security and defence policy and development cooperation);

Economic and Financial Affairs (including the budget);

Justice and Home Affairs (including civil protection).

Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union, referred to in the treaties and other official documents simply as the Council is the third of the seven Institutions of the European Union (EU) as listed in the Treaty on European Union. It is part of the essentially bicameral EU legislature (the other legislative body being the European Parliament) and represents the executive governments of the EU's member states. It is based in the Europa building in Brussels.The Council of the European Union and the European Council are the only EU institutions that are explicitly intergovernmental, that is forums whose attendees express and represent the position of their member state's executive, be they ambassadors, ministers or heads of state/government.

Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union, 2009

Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union (short:Czech Presidency of EU) occurred in the first half of 2009. On 1 January 2009, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek became the President of the Council of the European Union. When Topolánek's cabinet lost a vote of no-confidence, he was replaced by Jan Fischer on 8 May 2009. Presidency went over to Sweden on 1 July 2009.


EuroNanoForum (ENF) nanotechnology conferences are organised within the framework of national presidencies of the European Council and supported by the European Union, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation.

The first conference EuroNanoForum 2003, held in Trieste during the Italian Presidency, enabled the European Commission to present the key elements for an integrated and responsible approach and a common strategy for the future on nanotechnology research. It brought to the issue of a Commission Communication in 2004, and to the preparation of an Action Plan for Europe for the period 2005–2009.

The second conference EuroNanoForum 2005 took place in Edinburgh was focused on “Nanotechnology and the Health of the EU Citizen in 2020”. The aim of the conference was to promote developments in nanotechnology that are leading to innovative solutions for health and healthcare in Europe as part of an integrated and responsible approach presented in Trieste.

The third conference EuroNanoForum 2007 took place in Düsseldorf addressing “Nanotechnology in industrial applications”. The aim of the conference was to promote on for the nanotechnology transfer from research into industrial production processes, products and applications that can improve the competitiveness of European industry.

EuroNanoForum 2009 conference, held in Prague within the frame of the Czech presidency, addressed “Nanotechnology for sustainable economy”. The focus was to grow opportunity and responsibility to leveraging nanotechnology to reduce pollution, conserve resources and, ultimately, build a "clean" environmentally sustainable economy as well as to address concerns for the safe and responsible development of nanotechnology.EuroNanoForum 2011 took place in Budapest during Hungarian EU Presidency. The event was focused on " Leading the Nanotechnology ERA" and explored how nanotechnology could contribute to sustainable solutions for Grand Challenges faced by European society and businesses in several areas, such as global warming, tightening supplies of energy, water and food, ageing societies, public health, pandemics and security with the overarching challenge of turning Europe into an eco-efficient economy.The EuroNanoForum was held for the 6th time in June 2013 in Dublin, Ireland. The event was hosted under the auspices of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It was dedicated to "Nanotechnology Innovation: From research to commercialisation – the bridge to Horizon2020". The speakers initiated a thriving discussion about the future of nanotechnology, its economic and technological impact on European growth and the commercialisation challenges of nanoproducts. Speakers agreed that it requires the understanding of industrial needs, focused R&D and suitable funding instruments, as well as the identification of areas where nanotechnology is most likely to have impact. One of the event highlights was a video message by U2’s guitarist, David Howell Evans, better known as The Edge, to all delegates asking them to live the dreams to change the world for the better, also in the world of science.

The EuroNanoForum 2015 "Nanotechnology for European competitiveness" took place in Riga in June 2015, during the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It is Europe’s largest networking conference on nanotechnologies and advanced materials science, innovations and business.

The EuroNanoForum 2017 took place in Valletta in June 2017, during the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It was dedicated to "Strengthening the competitiveness of European manufacturing industries through nano and advanced materials technologies and open innovation".

The next event is planned to take place in the first semester of 2019 in Bucharest during the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

European Public Hearing on Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes

Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes are reports and proceedings of the European public hearing organised by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (January–June 2008) and the European Commission. The Hearing was organised in response to the request made by the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union on 19 April 2007.

Edited by Peter Jambrek and published by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union Crimes, the reports and proceedings research and investigate gross and large scale human rights violations committed during the reign of totalitarian regimes in Europe.

There were four sessions at the Hearing:

How to improve knowledge about totalitarian crimes?

How to promote public awareness about totalitarian crimes?

What lessons can be drawn from successful experiences?

How to achieve reconciliation?The preface was written by the Slovenian Minister of Justice Lovro Šturm, and the introduction by Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the European Commission for Justice, Freedom and Security. Countries that were involved were: Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, Poland and Spain.

Foreign Affairs Council

The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) is a configuration of the Council of the European Union that convenes once a month. Meetings bring together the Foreign Ministers of the member states. Ministers responsible for European Affairs, Defence, Development or Trade also participate depending on the items on agenda. The configuration is unique in that is chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP) rather than the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

At its sessions, the Council deals with the whole of the EU's external action, including Common Foreign and Security Policy, Common Security and Defence Policy, foreign trade and development cooperation. A priority in recent years for the Council, in cooperation with the European Commission, has been to ensure coherence in the EU's external action across the range of instruments at the EU's disposal.

General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union

The General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, also known as Council Secretariat, assists the Council of the European Union, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European Council and the President of the European Council. The General Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union. The Secretariat is divided into seven directorates-general, each administered by a director-general.

The Secretariat is based in Brussels, in the Justus Lipsius building. The respective secretariats of the Schengen Agreement and of now-defunct Western European Union and European Political Cooperation have along the years been integrated with the Council Secretariat.

The current secretary-general is Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen, who was appointed on 1 July 2015. He succeeded from Uwe Corsepius.

Jože Dežman

Jože Dežman (born 26 September 1955) is a Slovenian historian, museum curator, philosopher and editor. He served as the director of the National Museum of Contemporary History in Ljubljana. Since March 2012, he has been the director of the Archives of Slovenia, where he had replaced Dragan Matić. Matić characterised the replacement as politically motivated and pointed out that Dežman is not an archivist.Dežman was born in the Upper Carniolan town of Lesce. He studied history and philosophy at the University of Ljubljana and finished his studies in 1997. For twenty years, he actively participated in the League of Communists of Slovenia and other Communist political organisations. In the 1990s, he was an active member of the liberal party Liberal Democracy of Slovenia. He later turned to more conservative positions. Since the mid-2000s, he has advocated the inclusion of anti-Communist perspectives in Slovenian historiography.Dežman described the fundamental characteristics of the crimes following the Second World War as follows:

Killing civilians and prisoners of war after the Second World War is the greatest massacre of unarmed people of all times in Slovenian territory. Compared to Europe, the Yugoslav communist massacres after the Second World War are probably right after Stalinist purges and the Great Famine in the Ukraine. The number of those killed in Slovenia in the spring of 1945 can now be estimated at more than 100,000, Slovenia was the biggest post-War killing site in Europe. It was a mixture of events, when in Slovenia there are retreating German units, collaborator units, units of the Independent State of Croatia, Chetniks and Balkan civilians; more than 15,000 Slovenian inhabitants were murdered as well. Because of its brevity, number of casualties, way of execution and massiveness, it is an event that can be compared to the greatest crimes of communism and National Socialism.

Dežman was the first chairman of the Commission on Concealed Mass Graves in Slovenia. He contributed to the European Public Hearing on "Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes" organized by Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (January–June 2008) and the European Commission by writing the chapter "Communist Repression and Transitional Justice in Slovenia" for the report.

Marianne et l'Europe series

The Marianne et l'Europe series or Marianne of Beaujard series was a definitive postage stamp series, issued on 1 July 2008 in Metropolitan France and the four overseas departments. The design created and engraved by Yves Beaujard marked the beginning of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union by France.

The Marianne et l'Europe series replaced the Marianne des Français series issued on 10 January 2005.

It was the first France's definitive stamp series to have all its denominations issued as self-adhesive in September 2008.

Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Didžiosios Kunigaikštystės valdovų rūmai Vilniaus žemutinėje pilyje; Polish: Zamek Dolny w Wilnie) is a palace in Vilnius, Lithuania. It was originally constructed in the 15th century for the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the future Kings of Poland. The palace, located in the lower castle of Vilnius, evolved over the years and prospered during the 16th and mid-17th centuries. For four centuries the palace was the political, administrative and cultural centre of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was demolished in 1801. Work on a new palace started in 2002 on the site of the original building and it took 16 years to complete it in 2018.

Presidency (disambiguation)

Presidency refers to the executive branch of a nation's government under a President.

Presidency may also refer to:

Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Lay presidency at the Eucharist

Presidency (Pakistan), is the official residence and the principal workplace of the President of Pakistan

Presidencies of British India; one of the following three former provinces:

Bengal Presidency (Presidency of Fort William)

Bombay Presidency

Madras Presidency (Presidency of Fort St. George)

Presidency College; one of the following colleges in India (named for the Presidencies they were instituted in):

Presidency College, Chennai

Presidency College, Kolkata

Presidency University, Bangladesh

Presidency School, in Bangalore

Bosnian Presidency

President of the European Council

The President of the European Council is the person presiding over and driving forward the work of the European Council, as well as a principal representative of the European Union (EU) on the world stage. This institution comprises the college of heads of state or government of EU member states as well as the President of the European Commission, and provides political direction to the European Union (EU).

From 1975 to 2009, the head of the European Council was an unofficial position (often referred to as the President-in-Office) held by the head of state or government of the member state holding the semiannually rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union at any given time. However, since the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon, article 15 of Treaty on European Union states that the European Council appoints a full-time president for a two-and-a-half-year term, with the possibility of renewal once. Appointments, as well as the removal of incumbents, require a double majority support in the European Council.

On 19 November 2009, the European Council agreed that its first president under the Lisbon Treaty would be Herman Van Rompuy (European People's Party, Belgium). Van Rompuy took office when the Lisbon Treaty came into force on 1 December 2009 with a term stretching until 31 May 2012. His term was later extended with a second period ending on 30 November 2014.

The second and current president is former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. He was originally elected to serve a term from 1 December 2014 to 31 May 2017 and subsequently reelected on 9 March 2017 to a second term running from 1 June 2017 until 30 November 2019.

President of the European Union

The official title President of the European Union (or President of Europe) does not exist, but there are a number of presidents of European Union institutions, including:

the President of the European Council (since 1 December 2014, Donald Tusk)

the President of the European Commission (since 1 November 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker)

the President of the European Parliament (since 17 January 2017, Antonio Tajani)Alongside these the Council of the European Union (also known as the Council of Ministers or simply "the Council") containing 28 national ministers, one of each nation, rotates its presidency by country. This presidency is held by a country, not a person; meetings are chaired by the minister from the country holding the presidency (depending on the topic, or "configuration"), except for the Foreign Affairs Council (one so-called "configuration" of the Council of the EU), which is usually chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Presidency of the Council of the European Union has been held by Romania (and by extension Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă) since 1 January 2019.

According to protocol, it is the President of the Parliament who comes first, as it is listed first in the treaties. However, on the world stage, the principal representative of the EU is considered to be the President of the European Council, but the President of the European Commission, as head of the executive branch of the European Union, takes part in the G7 and other international summits as well.

Signing of the Treaty of Lisbon

The signing of the Treaty of Lisbon took place in Lisbon, Portugal, on 13 December 2007. The Government of Portugal, by virtue of holding Presidency of the Council of the European Union at the time, arranged a ceremony inside the 15th-century Jerónimos Monastery, the same place Portugal's treaty of accession to the European Union (EU) had been signed in 1985. Representatives from the 27 EU member states were present, and signed the Treaty as plenipotentiaries, marking the end of negotiations that began in 2001. In addition, for the first time an EU treaty was also signed by the presidents of the three main EU institutions. After the main ceremony, the heads of state and government took a ride on a decorated Lisbon tram together, symbolising the brotherhood of European countries on the path of European integration.


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