The Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU: July1st - Dec. 31st, 2018

The Austrian presidency of the Council of the European Union : July 1st - December 31st, 2018


‘A Europe that protects’ – Priorities of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union will focus on security and the fight against illegal migration, securing prosperity and competitiveness through digitalisation, and stability in the European neighbourhood.

The motto of the Austrian Presidency is ‘A Europe that protects’. In order to achieve this objective, Austria’s approach will be based on enhancing the principle of subsidiarity. The European Union should focus on big issues which require a joint solution and take a step back when it comes to smaller issues where member states or regions are in a better position to take decisions. This approach aims at taking seriously the motto of the European Union, ‘United in Diversity’.

To that effect, the Austrian Presidency will prioritise the protective role of the European Union, in particular concerning three priority areas:

  • Security and the fight against illegal migration
  • Securing prosperity and competitiveness through digitalisation
  • Stability in the European neighbourhood – EU perspective of the Western Balkans/South Eastern Europe

Austria views its role during the forthcoming Council Presidency as that of a neutral broker. Given its geographic location in the heart of the EU, its obligation of neutrality and in line with its traditional role as bridge builder, Austria will endeavour to contribute to the unity within the EU during its Council Presidency.

For more information on the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU, click on the following links:

A rotating presidency

The presidency of the Council rotates among the EU member states every 6 months. During this 6-month period, the presidency chairs meetings at every level in the Council, helping to ensure the continuity of the EU's work in the Council.

Member states holding the presidency work together closely in groups of three, called 'trios'. This system was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The trio sets long-term goals and prepares a common agenda determining the topics and major issues that will be addressed by the Council over an 18 month period. On the basis of this programme, each of the three countries prepares its own more detailed 6-month programme.

The current trio is made up of the presidencies of the Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria.