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Estonia assumes Presidency of Council of European Union

Staff Writer |
Estonia is now taking on the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time since joining in 2004.

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Under normal circumstances it would have taken over at the helm in the first half of 2018.

In the wake of the UK’s Brexit vote, however, the small state in north eastern Europe will take the place of the UK, thus launching a new presidency trio with Bulgaria and Austria.

The Presidency of the Council of the European Union rotates among EU member states, with each state holding the Presidency for six months. During this period, the relevant country chairs the meetings and consultations at all levels of the Council.

Since 2009 the member states holding three successive Presidencies have collaborated closely over a period of 18 months in groups of three, known as presidency trios.

They draw up long-term goals and elaborate a common programme for the Council for an 18-month period.

On the basis of this programme, each of the three countries produces its own more detailed six-month programme.

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