For the first time in 14 years, France will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) on January 1, 2022. How does the EU Council Presidency work and what will France's role be in it?
What is the Presidency of the Council of the European Union?
A rotating presidency Each Member State holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months on a rotating basis. From 1 January to 30 June 2022, France will hold the Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Council Presidency organises meetings, works out compromises, issues conclusions and ensures the coherence and continuity of the decision-making process. It ensures good cooperation between all Member States and the Council's relations with the European institutions, in particular the Commission and the European Parliament.
What is the Council of the European Union?
The Council of the European Union, also known as the "Council of Ministers of the European Union" or "Council", brings together the ministers of the Member States of the European Union by field of activity. It is, together with the European Parliament, the EU's co-legislator.
The Council also has budgetary powers: it adopts and modifies the European budget with the Parliament. Finally, the Council adopts certain decisions and non-binding recommendations, concludes the Union's international agreements and appoints the members of certain institutions (Court of Auditors, European Economic and Social Committee, Committee of the Regions). The Council's deliberations and votes on legislative acts are public.
What is the framework for the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (FPEU)?
The FPEU is in line with the guidelines set by the President of the Republic in his speech for a sovereign, united and democratic Europe delivered on 26 September 2017 at La Sorbonne. For four years, the President of the Republic and the Government have been working to build real European sovereignty, i.e. Europe's capacity to exist in today's world to defend our values and interests. The French Presidency of the Council of the European Union will continue this work for a more united, more sovereign and more democratic Europe.
The PFUE responds to the expectations of citizens, who expressed them during the citizens' panels organised in September in the 18 French regions in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe. This project, proposed by France in 2019, opened a new space for debate with European citizens. The final contribution of these citizens' panels was submitted to the Government in the autumn. The recommendations made by citizens, in France and in Europe, feed the priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The FPEU is linked to the programme of the "trio" of presidencies, in which France is involved. This system, which has been in place since 2009, makes it possible to set long-term objectives and define the major issues to be dealt with over an 18-month period. After the Slovenian Presidency, France will start a new cycle and work in trio with the Czech Republic in the second half of 2022 and Sweden in the first half of 2023.
Find all the information on the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union on the official website and social networks of the Presidency: