The Hungarian EU Council Presidency
Between 1 January and 30 June 2011, Hungary will hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time. The presidency is an extraordinary occasion for Hungary for several reasons. It is a generally accepted view among EU member countries that the first occasion of holding the presidency is a kind of a baptism of fire: we can understand this complex system of decisions only if we have managed it at least once. The presidency means political, diplomatic, professional and communication tasks at the same time, and the results achieved in these all form a part of the evaluation of the given member state. These six months shall make Hungary more visible inside and outside the EU, while also making the domestic public opinion more conscious of the European Union, its advantages and opportunities.
It is a task of outstanding importance in the next six months – because of the entry in force of the Lisbon Treaty – to put the new institutional system of the EU in practice. Moreover, the European Union is in a critical period, with its agenda full of themes that are of primary importance from the point of the future of the integration. The task of the Hungarian Presidency is to elaborate the proposals and compromises, on the basis of which member states can take the necessary decisions.
Which are the main elements of the programme of the Spanish-Belgian-Hungarian Trio Presidency?
To ensure the continuity of the EU agenda, starting with 1 January 2010, the Lisbon Treaty has introduced the so called Trio Presidency. This means that the rotating presidencies group in groups of three, and they cooperate coherently in the long run in this context. Hungary forms a trio with Spain and Belgium, which trio has been performing and will continue to perform the tasks of the rotating presidency in the period beginning with the first half of 2010.
The basic context of cooperation within the Trio Presidency is determined by the 18 month programme of the Presidency. The programme of the Presidency shall fit into the general agenda of the EU. Forming the programme of the Presidency means the planning of dossiers and legislative proposals – related to specific policy areas – that will form a part of the agenda during the period of the Presidency, as well as the planning of events, mainly the meetings of heads of state and government, and of meetings at ministerial levels. The discussion of certain themes is given by the schedule of previously assumed political responsibilities, while other measures are dictated by current developments.
The programme of the Trio consists of two parts: the strategic context, which summarises the main political goals of the Trio; and the operative programme, which elaborates the elements of the strategic context in detail.
You may read in more detail about the priorities of the Hungarian Presidency here
Where may I obtain information about the events of the EU Presidency?
Besides the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (http://www.mfa.gov.hu), you may find more detailed information on the website of our EU information service (www.euvonal.hu ), as well as on joint website of the Spanish-Belgian-Hungarian EU Presidency (www.eutrio.eu ).
The official website of the Hungarian Presidency will be accessible from 20 December 2010 at the website www.eu2011.hu .