Council Presidency: Luxembourg takes its turn at the helm of the EU
On July 1, Luxembourg takes over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU. Luxembourg will take its turn in chairing Council meetings, mediating between the EU Member States, and representing the Council at trilogue meetings with the European Parliament in order to move EU policy forward.
This of course will not be without its challenges at a time when the future of the EU hangs in the balance. Along with a ‘Grexit’, the possibility of Greece being forced from the Eurozone, the EU will face up to another existential crisis during Luxembourg’s Presidency: pressure from the UK to reform the EU, ahead of a referendum to be taken before the end of 2017, is bound to create obstacles in the Council. Tensions between Russia and the EU, violence in Ukraine, and an ongoing war of sanctions, mean that Luxembourg must ensure stability and continuity until the end of 2015 when the Presidency is passed to the Netherlands.
The EU's coordinated response to these challenges will be crucial in answering eurosceptics who believe the European project has failed. Luxembourg is experienced in difficult starts to Presidencies, however: the beginning of its 2005 Presidency was marked by the tsunami disaster in south-east Asia, to which Luxembourg coordinated the EU response.
The second half of the year will also see a number of legislative proposals and key initiatives brought forward: the Capital Markets Union, Energy Union and Digital Single Market are all expected to progress under the Luxembourg Presidency.
Luxembourg may be a small country, but having held the Presidency eleven times previously, its experience gives it the opportunity to make a lasting impression on EU policymaking.
Beginning with an introduction from Charles Goerens, one of Luxembourg's most experienced MEPs, DeHavilland EU has produced a complete guide to the next six months of challenges, key players and EU policy during the Luxembourg Presidency.
Read our Luxembourg EU Council Presidency ebook: http://bit.ly/DHEULux
Annie works for the EU team on the editorial side. She produces general political updates, manages data for the website, and maintains PeoplePoint.