On 1st January 2015, Latvia will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It will be Latvia’s first presidency, the second held by one of the Baltic countries, after Lithuania‘s turn in 2013, and the first presidency to work from the start with the new Commission, the new President of the European Council, and the new European Parliament.
Ambassador Ilze Juhansone, Permanent Representative of Latvia to the EU, outlined Latvia’s priorities for the Council Presidency at an event hosted by EPC on 21 November. While the final draft of the presidency programme is announced for December, orientations by the future presidency are already available for specific policy areas, such as energy, telecommunication and transport, through the Council’s Public Register of documents.
The Latvian priorities are best seen against the background of the joint document known as the trio programme, prepared together with the Member States holding the previous and the next presidency; Italy and Luxembourg, respectively.
Established with the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, the trio sets a common agenda over an 18 month period. As noted by various observers (here and here, for example), the system was introduced to balance the representation of diversity inherent in the rotating presidency, with a growing need for policy consistency and collective leadership.
For further insights from the academic world on the rotating Presidency of the Council, see the relevant section of our online bibliography, here.