On 1 July 2018, Austria has assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the third time after 1998 and 2006. As holder of the Council Presidency, Austria will contribute significantly to the legislative and political work of the Council.
An important aspect for the work of the Austrian Council Presidency concerns the elections to the European Parliament, that will take place between 23-26 May 2019. As the Parliament’s legislative period is coming to a close, it will be crucial to prepare the finalisation or reach agreements on as many open legislative proposals as possible. Thus, one of the main tasks of the Austrian Council Presidency will be to reach common positions of the Council on individual proposals. These common Council positions are a precondition for negotiations with the European Parliament. These negotiations, also known as “trilogues”, are usually very intensive and present a particular challenge for the Presidency.
In line with the trio presidency’s programme, the Austrian Presidency will continue the work on the circular economy, with a special focus on eco-innovative initiatives. Key goals include a healthy environment, the efficient use of resources, eco-friendly and sustainable growth, and measures for a non-toxic environment. Active climate protection will constitute a priority in environmental policy during the Austrian Presidency.
With respect to agriculture, the priority of the Austrian Presidency is to negotiate the proposals made by the European Commission on the modernisation and simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2020. In addition, the Austrian Presidency will devote its attention to improving Europe’s supply with vegetable protein, implementing the Bio-economy Strategy in the agriculture and forestry sectors, and working on the dossiers on veterinary and phytosanitary matters, forestry and fisheries.
After Austria, the next trio presidency will take over: Romania (first half of 2019), Finland (second half of 2019) and Croatia (first half of 2020).
The programme of the Austrian EU Council Presidency can be accessed here: