EU UPDATE: Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU: 1st of January until the 30th of June 2014
Greece is holding from the 1st of January until the 30th of June 2014 the Presidency of the Council of the EU.
It takes over the Presidency from Lithuania, which lists its achievements here: http://www.eu2013.lt/en/news/pressreleases/achievements-of-the-lithuanian-presidency-more-credible-growing-and-open-europe
To quote the Greek Presidency’s website as regards to why the Presidency is important:
"The Presidency of the Council of the EU is held by each of the 28 Member States in turn for a period of six months. The handover of the chair of the Council of the EU takes place from each rotating Presidency to the next, on January 1st or July 1st every year.[…]
Since 2004, European Council meetings, commonly referred to as EU summits, take place solely in Brussels, thus ending the longstanding practice of summit meeting venues rotating between Member States, along with the Presidency. All official meetings of the Council of the EU, also known as the Council of Ministers, are held in Brussels or Luxembourg.
The Presidency of the Council plays a vital part in the organization of the work of the institution, as the driving force in the legislative and political decision-making process. It organizes and chairs all meetings, promotes co-ordination of policies, negotiates deals and works out compromises to resolve difficulties."
More info on the Greek Presidency and its priorities can be found on the Presidency’s website:
Italy will take over the Presidency on the 1st of July 2014.