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Presidency of the Council of the EU - Set

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  • 08.06.2018
Thematics
About Presidency of the Council of the EU

President of the Council of the EU

In the second half of 2018, Austria will take over the presidency of the Council of the EU. Austrian Post is celebrating this political event by issuing a commemorative stamp.

The president of the Council of the European Union changes every six months: every 1st January and 1st July a different member state of the European Union takes on this role. Having previously held the position in 1998 and 2006, this will be the third time that Austria has taken on the presidency of the Council of the EU and the various duties associated with this.

Austria has already planned out an 18-month programme – the so-called trio programme – in collaboration with Estonia and Bulgaria, which presided over the Council of the EU in the previous two half years. Having come into effect on 1st July 2017, it creates a strategic framework for these three presidencies. This tripartite presidency of the council is intended to ensure continued advancement of the shared agenda.

Manifold challenges

The Council of the European Union, also known as the Council of Ministers, is made up of the ministers of the member states responsible for the various areas. Its remit primarily consists of negotiating and enacting EU legislation in conjunction with the European Parliament; coordinating the policies of member states, including in the fields of economic, budgetary and employment policy, education, culture and youth and sport; the joint foreign and security policies of the EU; international agreements and drawing up the EU budget.

During its time as president of the Council of the European Union, under the motto “A Europe that protects”, Austria will have to undertake a range of tasks. Important topics which will have to be addressed will include the negotiations for the United Kingdom leaving the European Union (“Brexit”) or the multi-annual financial framework from 2021.

The stamp to commemorate Austria’s presidency of the Council of the European Union depicts the outlines of all 28 member states of the European Union; a particular special effect is achieved through the use of gold leaf to pick out the stars.