In the second half of 2018 Austria assumes the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union for the third time and the general motto of its presidency is "A Europe that protects". This publication presents the EESC's priorities during the Austrian Presidency.
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The European Economic and Social Committee is staking its claim to be a committed partner for the Italian presidency of the European Union, thus giving a voice to civil society organisations throughout the next six-month period.
At a time when the European Parliament has just started a new term and the European Commission has a new team in place, the European Economic and Social Committee is continuing to move forwards as a committed partner of the Latvian Presidency. As the representative of European civil society, our committee has recently seen confirmation of its key role in building a more democratic European Union in the European Parliament report that has recognised its work as being critical to the success of the European citizens’ initiative. And this is the path on which we wish to continue.
The presidency is returning to Luxembourg, a founding Member State that not only plays joint host to the institutions but, thanks to its pivotal position in the centre of Europe, in fact helped to create the fledgling predecessor of today’s European Union. The Grand Duchy will undoubtedly bring to bear its unique and successful experience both in genuinely integrating itself into Europe, and in integrating Europe within its borders.
The Dutch Presidency wants a Union that focuses on the essentials: jobs, growth and connection. Many challenges lie ahead: a.o. unemployment, poverty, an ageing population, the flow of refugees, the rapid change in the global economy, scarce resources, energy costs and the impact of climate change. The Dutch Presidency intends to promote a Union that connects, a Union based on fundamental values supported by its citizens.
In the first half of 2019 Romania assumes, for the first time, the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.
For the first time in the history of the European Union, twelve years after its accession, the Slovak Republic will take up the presidency of the Council on 1 July.
In the second half of 2019, Finland will hold for the third time the presidency of the Council of the European Union. This is a crucial period when the EU faces many environmental, economic, social and societal challenges, including the still-ongoing Brexit process and threats from populist forces in the Member States.
Main priorities of the Finnish Presidency include sustainable growth, protection of the rule of law, security policy and climate policy. All of these go hand in hand with the priorities of the EESC and form a good basis for future cooperation.
At the start of each Council Presidency the EESC outlines its priorities in an information brochure for the six-month period. With a very busy programme, the EESC brochure gives a taste of what to expect during the first-time Maltese Presidency.