Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU

29 June 2023

Each EU country takes it in turn to preside over the Council of the European Union for a six-month period. From 1 July to 31 December, the baton is handed to Spain.


The rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union

The Presidency of the Council of the European Union is held in turn by each Member State for a period of six months. After the Czech Republic, which held the Presidency from July to December 2022, Sweden has held the rotating Presidency since 1 January 2023.

Together with the European Parliament, the European Council is responsible for amending and adopting laws proposed by the European Commission. To this end, the Council brings together the ministers of the Member States according to areas of competence in 10 political configurations (Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries, Economic and Financial Affairs, etc.).

When a country holds the Presidency of the Council, it is responsible for organising and chairing all EU Council meetings. For example, the environment minister chairs the Environment Council, while the agriculture minister chairs the Agriculture Council.

There are no elections for the presidency of the Council: each country takes its turn. This means that every member state - no matter how big or small - chairs the Council. This promotes member states' involvement in European affairs and interconnectedness.

As a six-month term is relatively short for completing European policy projects, countries organise themselves into trio presidencies, spread over 18 months, allowing them to establish a set of common priorities.

After the trio of the Czech Republic, France and Sweden, Spain kicked off a new trio with Belgium and Hungary on 1 July.

Spain holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the second half of 2023. Belgium and Hungary will assume the presidency in 2024. These three consecutive presidencies make up the current "trio". Spain, Belgium and Hungary have adopted a joint programme outlining the trio's common priorities.


The priorities for the Spanish presidency:

  • Promoting the reindustrialisation of Europe: strengthening European industrial sovereignty and guaranteeing strategic autonomy, in particular by relocating key industries to Europe, especially in the fields of energy and healthcare.
  • Moving towards the ecological transition: the EU must adapt to the climate challenge and reduce its dependence on energy and essential raw materials.
  • Strengthening social policy: ensuring that the ecological and digital transition is equitable, fair and inclusive by strengthening Europe's social role, in particular by tackling the EU's demographic challenge.
  • Strengthening European unity in the face of global challenges: the EU needs to strengthen itself to cope with geopolitical tensions, but also to become one of the main architects of the new international order. This will involve deepening the internal market (banking union, capital markets union) and improving common instruments such as the NextGenerationEU funds, while making progress on debates such as the New Pact on Migration and Asylum.