European Union Council Presidencies: A Comparative Perspective

European Union Council Presidencies: A Comparative Perspective

European Union Council Presidencies: A Comparative Perspective

European Union Council Presidencies: A Comparative Perspective

Synopsis

This book describes, analyses, explains and compares the role performance of different presidencies. The expert and international authors ask why member states have different approaches and play the role differently, prioritising different functions and using a variety of strategies to realise their aspirations. The book consists of three parts i) describes the functions of the presidency, ii) compares nine different presidencies and iii) a concluding section comparing media images, and summaries looking at member state characteristics and behaviour.

Excerpt

'The Presidency has always had a role of attempting to lead the Council, but the role has expanded.'

'The Presidency has a lot of room to push things … he who proposes is in the driving seat.'

'The Presidencies that are stubborn and opinionated are those that make an impact.'

'By definition, a Presidency has to suppress its national interests.'

'It is important for a Presidency to work democratically and to show consideration: to strive for consensus and compromise and to listen to all member states.'

'The Presidency was very successful: good management and impartial.'

(Quotes from interviews with Brussels officials)

The Presidency of the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers is one of the key institutional players in the eu negotiation game. the Presidency is regarded by other actors as a leader, providing visions of the future and guiding the integration process towards these new goals. When deadlocks occur in lengthy decision-making processes, eyes are turned towards the Presidency: it is supposed to come up with creative proposals and to broker compromises that are 'yesable' to all member states. At the same time, the Presidency period is seen by many actors in the domestic arena as the opportunity to advance particular national interests; this is the time, they hope, when due attention will be given to the specific national needs and concerns of the country at the helm. the Presidency is furthermore expected to provide an organizational environment that is conducive

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