This episode Hugh and Ciarán discuss the EU rotating presidency, what is it? Should it exist?

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Show Notes

Pie in the sky

A Better Rotating EU Presidency

The rotating presidency as it currently exists is part of the intentionally confusing bullshit… It’s often referred to as rotating EU presidency.. which is misleading since it’s presidency of the Council of the European Union. The one with the 28 government ministers changing depending on the topic under discussion————– - Rotates every 6 months - groups of 3 decide on 18 month long term agendas… (currently Romania, Finland and Croatia. ) Current agenda? - www.consilium.europa.euummm… so it’s an administrative role? Why does it get covered like it’s more important? It’s second role? Representing the Council in relations with the other EU institutions - so… nothing? The European Council and Parliament likely see themselves as more legitimate. Does this get Finland any extra leverage? Not really

How’d we end up with this nonsense?

To some extent the Lisbon treaty messed things up by separating the European Council and the Council of the European Union. Pre 2007 you could argue it made more sense but… now.. I mean isn’t this Tusk’s job effectively?

It also used to have a foreign affairs component but the Commission now has a commissioner for that.

The diminished powers are brought up as good things

Because people are unhappy with the current Romanian government it was cited as good thing by the Guardian that it doesn’t have much power other than meeting agenda setting.

Didn’t we hear something about corporate sponsorship?

Romanian Presidency was sponsored by Coca-Cola, and the current Finnish Presidency is being sponsored by BMW.

There’s an open parliamentary question to the Commission asking why this is allowed since it seems like an obvious conflict of interest (From a Cs MEP from Spain (Renew))

“Are there plans to introduce rules on such practices, which harm the Union’s independence, with the aim of prohibiting them?”

A GUE/NGL MEP from Réunion (so France..) Tounous Omarjee asked the Council itself for clarification on whether details are published about this nonsense The council passed the buck:

“The organisation of the Presidency, including a decision to seek sponsorship for elements of the Presidency, is a matter for the Member State authorities concerned. It is not for the Council to reply to questions that are the responsibility of its Presidency”

A Croatian PR firm has a blog post suggesting how to be ready to sponsor events to get exposure for Croatian businesses: This isn’t inherently bad but it’s a sign of what the rotating presidency is now