EU Country Focus

The currently 28 EU Member States rotate the Presidency of the EU council every 6 month.
The EACC network will be highlighting each EU member state during the time of their presidency.

Austria   Belgium   Bulgaria   Croatia   Cyprus   Czech Republic   Denmark

Estonia   Finland   France   Germany   Greece   Hungary   Ireland

Italy   Latvia   Lithuania   Luxembourg   Malta   the Netherlands   Poland

Portugal   Romania   Slovakia   Slovenia   Spain   Sweden _United Kingdom

EU Council revises order on rotating presidencies due to Brexit

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Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union:

1. Priorities of the Finnish Presidency

The priorities for Finland’s Presidency are

The European Union faces an increasingly complex and unpredictable global operating environment: great power competition and assertive unilateralism are on the rise, and the international rules-based system and its norms and principles are being challenged. We have also seen the EU’s common values being called into question. Moreover, one member state is about to leave the EU.

The cornerstones of European integration – peace, security, stability, democracy and prosperity – need to be protected. It is only by acting together and defending our common values that the EU can tackle the major challenges of our time while promoting the wellbeing and prosperity of its citizens.

The European success story is anchored in democratic institutions, human rights and the rule of law. We need to strengthen the rule of law to enable the EU to credibly defend a rules-based multilateral system and international human rights institutions and to allow its citizens to enjoy peace and equal rights.

The EU can prove its worth by creating wellbeing and prosperity that is socially, ecologically and economically sustainable. Public acceptance of the EU depends on efficient decision-making and the ability to carry out what has been agreed. Europe can only exert global influence if it is strong and effective.

Transparency, better regulation, involvement of citizens and respect for the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality are crucial for strengthening trust in the EU. 

Finland will be the first presidency to integrate the new priorities of the Strategic Agenda 2019–2024 into the Council’s work. As emphasised in the Trio Programme. 

2. Program:

  • Common Values and the Rule of Law: Cornerstones of EU Action
  • A Competitive and Socially inclusive EU
  • The EU as a Global Leader in Climate Action
  • Protecting the Security of Citizens Comprehensively 

Download the program  HERE

3. Trio Program:

Prepared jointly by Romania, Finland and Croatia, the programme focusses on such issues as the EU’s shared values, sustainable growth, the need to strengthen external action, and the importance of security.

It is also known as the ‘trio programme’, drawn up for a period of 18 months by the three consecutive member states holding the Council presidency, in cooperation with the chair of the Foreign Affairs Council. The trio programme provides guidelines for work within the Council from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020.

The programme highlights shared values
These are the key themes:

  • A Union for jobs, growth and competitiveness
  • А Union that empowers and protects all its citizens
  • Towards an energy union with a forward-looking climate policy
  • A Union of freedom, security and justice
  • The Union as a strong global actor

The trio programme also reaffirms the commitment to the EU’s shared values, such as the rule of law, and to the multilateral system, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the unity of the Union. The Presidency countries are committed to ensuring that the EU operates close to its citizens, transparently and in accordance with the principles of good governance and better regulation.

The trio programme was adopted by the General Affairs Council on 11 December 2018. The trio programme

You can read more about the presidency of the Council of the EU here.