France presides over the EU Council from January 1

Recovery, Strength and a Sense of Belonging #EU2022FR

Between January 1 and June 30, France will preside over the Council of the EU, taking over from Slovenia. France is a founding member of the EU and will be holding the Council presidency for the thirteenth time since 1958.

During these six months, France will chair the meetings at every level in the Council, helping to ensure the continuity of the decision-making process of the EU, together with the European Parliament. Sometimes called Council of Ministers of the EU, this EU institution is composed of ministers of Member States’ governments who meet in configurations according to their portfolios.

The presidency of the Council organises and presides over meetings, works for common positions between Member States, adopts Council conclusions and ensures the coherency and continuity of the decision-making process. It also ensures effective cooperation between all Member States. The Council also holds budgetary powers; it adopts and amends the European budget with the Parliament.

The Council adopts certain decisions as well as non-binding recommendations, concludes international agreements on behalf of the EU, and appoints members of certain institutions such as the European Court of Auditors, European Economic and Social Committee and European Committee of the Regions.

Each Member State holds the presidency of the EU Council for six months on a rotational basis and works in a trio of presidencies, currently composed of France, the Czech Republic and Sweden.

The trio presidency has a common programme with the following thematic priorities:

  • To protect citizens and freedoms, by focusing on respecting and protecting European values and on strengthening both the Schengen area and a common asylum and migration policy;
  • To promote a new growth and investment model for Europe, based on sustainable green growth and on strengthening the EU’s industrial and digital sovereignty;
  • To build a greener and more socially equitable Europe that better protects the health of Europeans;
  • A global Europe that promotes multilateralism and renewed international partnerships, while adopting a shared vision among the 27 Member States regarding strategic threats.

The programme also reiterates the European Union's commitment in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social consequences.

These thematic principles are reflected in the French programme for the Presidency, based on the priorities of the ecological and digital transitions, and a social Europe.

The French presidency will also look forward to the Europe of 2030, by laying the groundwork for:

  • A new growth and investment model for the European Union and the euro area;
  • European values, with protection instruments for European democracies;
  • Young people, with more European projects and the expansion of the Erasmus programme;
  • Culture, with the Europe Academy bringing together some 100 academics from 27 countries in all subjects to enlighten European debate;
  • Health, with a genuine joint research agency and major research plans, for example, for Alzheimer’s.

The Conference on the Future of Europe will also come to a close during the French presidency. Proposed by France in 2019 and launched on May 9, 2021 in Strasbourg, the Conference provides European citizens with a new forum for debate so that they can contribute to defining Europe’s future policy for the years and decades to come.

According to the French President, Emmanuel Macron, European citizens demand from the EU to take more actions and work on economic issues, ecological matters with focus on carbon neutrality for 2050 and on defence integration.

Click here for the website of the French Presidency of the EU Council.