03 Feb 2011

How to assess a rotating presidency of the Council under the Lisbon rules

Piotr Maciej Kaczyński

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The new Lisbon Treaty has completely changed the role of the rotating presidency. Before Lisbon, the political responsibility of each of presidency included almost all areas of the European project with the main decisions being brokered by national diplomats. Under the new system this ‘political’ dimension has been seriously curtailed, if not done away with. The main task of rotating presidencies in the new institutional system is to manage ongoing legislation within the Council and with the European Parliament. To be successful a presidency needs two domestic elements: the first is dedication on the part of the political elites of the country and the second is a public administration committed to playing the role of honest broker in the Council.

CEPS Researcher Piotr Maciej Kaczy?ski looks at the priorities of the new Hungarian rotating presidency and sets out eight benchmarks by which they might be judged in the next six months.