As of 1 July 2019, Finland will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the next six months as part of the rotating mechanism among Member States. The Finnish Presidency will follow the Romanian one which will end on 30 June 2019. The Finnish Presidency will then be followed by the Croatian Presidency for the period of 1 January 2020 – 30 June 2020.
In order to set long-term goals, Member States holding the Presidency work together closely in groups of three, called ‘trios’ and prepare a common agenda determining the Council’s priority over 18 months.
In December 2018, Romania, Finland and Croatia found an agreement and the trio program was adopted by the General Affairs Council on 11 December 2018. The so-called ‘trio program’ is drawn up for a period of 18 months in cooperation with the chair of the Foreign Affairs Council and will provide guidelines for work within the Council from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020.
The key themes of the trio program are:
- A Union for jobs, growth and competitiveness
- А Union that empowers and protects all its citizens
- Towards an energy union with a forward-looking climate policy
- A Union of freedom, security and justice
- The Union as a strong global actor
The trio program also reaffirms the commitment to the EU’s shared values, such as the rule of law, and to the multilateral system, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the unity of the Union. The Presidency countries are committed to ensuring that the EU operates close to its citizens, transparently and in accordance with the principles of good governance and better regulation.
It also has to be noted that each Member State holding the Presidency also prepares its own national program. Finland started drafting its program in Spring 2018, headed by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä. A parliamentary group composed of all the parliamentary parties is involved in the preparatory work. The program will be published in June 2019. To be updated on the work of the Finnish Presidency, visit their website and follow their Twitter account.