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.