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Glossary

Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The Lisbon Treaty provides that the Presidency of the Council of the Union in its different forms be carried out by groups of three member States. The composition of these groups must respect diversity and geographical balance in the European Union. They are determined beforehand and constituted by equal rotation of the Member States. Each member of the group holds the Presidency for a period of six months.

The Presidency of the Council of Foreign Affairs is held by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy who also represents the Union in issues relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Holding the Presidency is every Member State's duty, and a contribution towards the smooth operation of the Community institutions. The responsibilities of the Presidency are:

  • to chair the meetings of Coreper and other Council working parties and committees;
  • to organise and manage the Council's business in line with its rules of procedure.

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