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What it means

What it means


The Presidency of the Council of the EU is held by each of the 28 Member States in turn for a period of six months. The handover of the chair of the Council of the EU takes place from each rotating Presidency to the next, on January 1st or July 1st every year. Following the Council Decision of 1 January 2007, the order of rotating presidencies was determined up until 2020. The assumption of the Presidency of the Council of the EU is a privilege and an obligation of each EU Member State, introduced in the Treaty establishing European Communities of 1957.

Since 2004, European Council meetings, commonly referred to as EU summits, take place solely in Brussels, thus ending the longstanding practice of summit meeting venues rotating between Member States, along with the Presidency. All official meetings of the Council of the EU, also known as the Council of Ministers, are held in Brussels or Luxembourg.

The Presidency of the Council plays a vital part in the organization of the work of the institution, as the driving force in the legislative and political decision-making process. It organizes and chairs all meetings, promotes co-ordination of policies, negotiates deals and works out compromises to resolve difficulties.