The Presidency and the EU

Trio presidency

The continuity of work and effective use of resources are the two main reasons why the EU Council introduced the trio system under which three Member States take over the presidency one after the other and work closely together. Each country holding the presidency for six months works in accordance with the common trio work programme.

Trio prezidentūras atklāšana
Opening of the Trio Presidency in Jūrmala, Latvia on 1 July 2014. (From left to right: Gatis Truksnis, Mayor of Jūrmala City, Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs and the Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia Inna Šteinbuka)

Hand in hand: Italy-Latvia-Luxembourg

From 1 July 2014 to 31 December 2015 the presidency trio is made up of Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg. All three Member States have worked together to develop the trio’s 18-month programme, identifying which areas and key issues the EU Council will work on during this period.

The programme consists of two parts. The first part is the strategic framework with long-term goals which will also be on the agenda for the next presidency trio (Netherlands-Slovakia-Malta). The second part sets out the issues on which Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg have focussed their activities.

The main objective of our presidency trio is to fully overcome the economic and financial crisis and to boost growth in the EU, to strengthen the EU's capacity to deliver more jobs and seize digital opportunities, to protect fundamental rights and to fully play its role in a fast-changing world.

Priorities of the Trio presidency:

  • financial stability – addressing economic and financial issues in order to provide a healthy macro-economic environment;
  • growth in the EU – enhancing EU competitiveness, strengthening industrial policy, completion of the Single Market and strengthening industry and external trade;
  • employment – creating new jobs (in particular for young people), combatting poverty and social exclusion;
  • digital agenda – seizing opportunities provided by the digital environment, work on the completion of the Digital Single Market;
  • strengthening the EU's global role – supporting economic, social and political reforms especially in countries to the East and South of the EU. The agenda includes the importance of trade policy.

Read the Trio presidency programme

The system of presidency trios was introduced in 2009 and the order of rotation of the Council presidencies has been decided until the first half of 2020. By then, all of the EU Member States except Croatia – the newest member – will have assumed the presidency at least once.

Rotating presidencies

Ireland January-June 2013
Lithuania July-December 2013
Greece January-June 2014
Italy July-December 2014
Latvia January-June 2015
Luxembourg July-December 2015
Netherlands January-June 2016
Slovakia July-December 2016
Malta January-June 2017

Every trio includes one of the newest Member States which joined the EU in 2004 or 2007. Size and geographical location are also taken into account so that all trio groups represent the diversity of the EU's Member States.

The Italy-Latvia-Luxembourg trio began its work during a period of change. The new European Parliament commenced its work in July 2014, followed at the end of 2014 by the new European Commission, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and President of the European Council.

The trio work programme serves as the basis for each presidency’s six-month work programme.