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Trio Presidency of Germany, Slovenia and Portugal in the EU

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The Presidency of the Council, meaning the presidency of the Council of the European Union, is held by the Member States in rotation for six months at a time. Germany takes over the EU Presidency in the second half of 2020, followed by Portugal and Slovenia.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas with his Slovenian and Portuguese counterparts
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas with his Slovenian and Portuguese counterparts© Thomas Trutschel / photothek.net

As in 2007 and 2008, Germany, Portugal and Slovenia form a so-called trio presidency.

It begins with the German EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2020 and is followed by the Portuguese and Slovenian presidencies in the first and second half of 2021 respectively.

The purpose of this close cooperation is to ensure that certain subjects can be dealt with continuously over a longer period of time.

By June 2020, Germany, Portugal and Slovenia will formulate joint objectives and draw up a concrete programme (“eighteen-month-programme”) to be addressed by the Council during the three presidencies from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2021.

On this basis, each of the three countries will draw up its own more detailed “six-month programme” for the Council Presidency.


Background Information

The Council of the EU, also called the Council of Ministers or simply the Council, is the institution where national ministers from each EU country meet to discuss, amend and adopt regulations.

They also coordinate their policies.

Together with the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union is the EU's main decision-making body.


Tasks of the EU presidency

The EU Council Presidency has three main tasks:

  • Chairing and moderating the meetings and work of the Council of the European Union and about 200 other working groups and committees;
  • representing the Member States to other EU institutions (in particular the Commission and the European Parliament) and
  • representing the EU (together with the Commission) at international level.


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