The priorities of France’s presidency are reflected in its motto: ‘Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging’:
- recovery, to enable Europe to support the ecological and digital transitions
- strength, to defend and promote our values and interests
- a sense of belonging, to build and develop a shared European vision through culture, our values and our common history
According to the speech given on 9 December 2021 by French President Emmanuel Macron to present the priorities of the French presidency, the activities of the presidency will focus on three main areas:
- pursuing an agenda for European sovereignty, meaning Europe’s ability to exist in the world as it currently exists and defend its values and interests
- building a new European growth model
- creating a more ’human-sized’ Europe
If I had to sum up in one sentence the goal of this presidency from 1 January to 30 June 2022, I would say that we need to move from being a Europe of cooperation inside of our borders to a powerful Europe in the world, fully sovereign, free to make its choices and master of its destiny.
Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic. Presentation of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union at the Élysée Palace, 9 December 2021.
The tasks of the presidency
The presidency is responsible for driving forward the Council’s work on EU legislation, ensuring the continuity of the EU agenda, orderly legislative processes and cooperation among member states. To do this, the presidency must act as an honest and neutral broker.
The presidency has two main tasks:
Planning and chairing meetings in the Council and its preparatory bodies
The presidency chairs meetings of the different Council configurations (with the exception of the Foreign Affairs Council) and the Council’s preparatory bodies, which include permanent committees such as the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper), and working parties and committees dealing with very specific subjects.
The presidency ensures that discussions are conducted properly and that the Council’s rules of procedure and working methods are correctly applied.
It also organises various formal and informal meetings in Brussels and in the country of the rotating presidency.
Representing the Council in relations with the other EU institutions
The presidency represents the Council in relations with the other EU institutions, particularly with the Commission and the European Parliament. Its role is to try and reach agreement on legislative files through trilogues, informal negotiation meetings and Conciliation Committee meetings.
The presidency works in close coordination with:
- the President of the European Council
- the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
It supports their work and may sometimes be requested to perform certain duties for the high representative, such as representing the Foreign Affairs Council before the European Parliament or chairing the Foreign Affairs Council when it discusses common commercial policy issues.
Compliments of the Council of the EU.