U-talk this week carries a query posted on our Internet site: What is the purpose of the European Union’s rotating presidency?
To introduce the current Danish presidency’s answer to this, here are a few points to bear in mind.
The presidency of the Council of the European Union is held by a government, not an individual person.
The governments of today’s 27-country EU take turns in this role, each turn lasting for six months.
The Council’s ministers, from all the countries, work on legislation for the whole bloc, this power shared with the European Parliament.
Denmark took over from Poland for the first half of this year, and will be followed by Cyprus.
In response to our initial question Lars Peter Levy of the Danish Foreign Affairs Ministry said: “The role of the EU rotating presidency is first of all to lead the work among EU member state governments. That means chairing the meetings, coordinating among actors, trying to find compromises among countries in order to create the results that the EU needs.
“The second role is to represent the member states vis-a-vis other EU institutions. For example, the European Parliament, where Danish ministers will be present every week to present and discuss the presidency work.
“The title of the Danish EU Presidency is ‘Europe at Work’. Our four main priorities are: a responsible Europe, a dynamic Europe, a green Europe and a safe Europe. It’s clear that the dominant theme of the Danish EU presidency will be the economic situation, but at the same time the Danish presidency wants to create results on all EU policy areas and demonstrate that the EU works in all policy areas every day to create results to the benefit of European citizens.”