The priorities of the Dutch Presidency of the Council

30 November 2015

As the Netherlands prepares to assume the rotating Presidency of the Council of Ministers on 1 January 2016, there is a high level of interest over the approach that will be taken to attempt to address the multiple challenges facing the EU at the moment. The Netherlands does not lack experience: this is the twelfth time that the EU founding member will assume this role, the last time being in the second half of 2004.

That was an eventful time in the history of the EU, just ahead of the ‘No’ vote to the Constitutional Treaty in both France and the Netherlands which led to the “constitutional crisis” and later the Treaty of Lisbon, resulting in many changes including the role of the rotating presidency. From the perspective of what the EU has gone through in the past ten years and the multiple internal and external challenges facing the Union today, the Netherlands inherits a role which, while much changed from 2004, continues to be of vital importance when effectively working through the myriad priorities on the EU agenda.

In this context, Janis A. Emmanouilidis, EPC Director of Studies,chaired this Policy Briefing in which Pieter de Gooijer, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the EU,presented the priorities of the Dutch Presidency before answering questions from the audience.