PROGRAMME & PRIORITIES
In order to ensure a high level of coherence and continuity of the Council´s work, the Lisbon Treaty institutionalised the Trio Council Presidency system. This means that the Council Presidency runs in a group of three consecutive presidencies carrying out its common 18-month political programme.
Unlike previous Presidencies, the outline of our Trio Presidency programme, which we share with the Netherlands and Malta, will be drawn up by the General Secretariat of the Council. Once the draft of the programme is prepared, the Trio countries will comment on it, whereas its final version has to be adopted by the General Affairs Council of the EU in December 2015. Based on the Trio´s programme, Slovakia will also formulate its own 6-month Presidency programme. In spite of great emphasis put on its formulation, the Presidency country in fact only has a limited chance to promote its own national interests, because the Programme generally takes the following format:
85% is comprised of the Trio Presidency programme and the Commission´s work programme, as the Commission is the only entity authorised to propose laws. Therefore, the work programme of the new Commission (2014-2019) is crucial for Slovakia, as are the priorities of the new European Parliament, which is a co-legislator with the Council. Since the average duration of the legislative procedure is 18 months, it is most likely that any legislative proposal put forward by the Commission from now on will be, in some form, addressed during our Presidency.
- 10% of the programme consists of responses to actual developmentsand ad hoc solutions to crises and other unpredictable situations.
- Only 5% represents the priorities of the Presidency country
Last update 20/03/2015
From 1 July 2016 Slovakia holds the Presidency of one of the three main EU institutions, the Council of the EU, representing the 28 Member States of the EU.
For the European Union this is the 116th rotating presidency; for the Slovak Republic it is a historic first and a unique chance to contribute to its operation more than at any previous point and to take greater responsibility for its direction. At the same time it is a unique opportunity, which can contribute to the success story of Slovakia as an EU member country.
The essential substantive framework of the Slovak Presidency is based on the five priorities of the Strategic Agenda for the Union in Times of Change, which was adopted by the heads of state or government of the EU Member States at the European Council of June 2014. The strategic programme emphasises long-term and still current priorities to create new opportunities for EU citizens:
- A Union of jobs, growth and competitiveness
- A Union that empowers and protects all citizens
- An Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy
- A Union of freedom, security and justice
- The Union as a strong global actor
The Slovak Presidency's programme is a programme of priorities for the whole Union, which we will promote during our Presidency of the Council of the EU.
As regards the lines of the trio Presidency programme and in the framework of environment policy and support for sustainable development, the Slovak Presidency will focus on the following priorities:
1. CLIMATE CHANGE
- Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement at the conference of the Parties to the Convention on Climate Change, the Slovak Presidency will undertake further activities regarding the ratification of the agreement by Member States and the EU and the subsequent implementation of the 2030 climate and energy package.
- The Slovak Presidency will continue discussions on the proposed revision of emissions trading scheme. Following the submission of proposals by the European Commission, the Slovak Presidency will negotiate two related legislative proposals: a proposal on sectors not included in the trading scheme and a proposal on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from land use, land-use change and forestry.
2. CIRCULAR ECONOMY
- The Slovak Presidency will promote the development of measures with a view to an innovative circular economy, which will be globally competitive, energy-efficient, respect biodiversity and natural resources, and will minimise waste by promoting effective recycling.
- One of the main aims of the Presidency will be to participate actively in discussions on the promotion of these measures. In the context of the high-level flagship eventTransition to Green Economy, the Slovak Presidency will create an effective platform for public discussion of these issues. The outcomes of the Presidency event will be presented at meetings of environment ministers of OECD member countries in Paris and of the EU's Environment Council.
- At the same time, the Slovak Presidency will build on the work of the Netherlands Presidency in the negotiations on the legislative proposals to amend six major directives relating to waste management.
3. BIODIVERSITY AND NATURE CONSERVATION
- In the field of nature conservation and biodiversity, the Presidency will work on an evaluation of the Birds and Habitats Directives.
- The Slovak Presidency will participate intensively in the preparation and coordination of EU positions in international negotiations on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Cartagena and Nagoya Protocols.
- Water issues represent a national contribution to the priorities of the Slovak Presidency, in the context of which the Slovak Republic wants to make use of its expert capital and knowledge in this field with a view to the adoption of measures to ensure the sustainability and protection of water resources. In this context, there will be a ministerial conference in Bratislava in July with the title 'Improving water resources management by integration of environmentally sound approaches'.Following the conclusions of the conference, it is the aim of the Presidency that Council conclusions be adopted on the issue of drought and water scarcity in the context of adaptation to climate change.
In addition to these priorities the Slovak Presidency will focus on the following themes:
- The Slovak Presidency will also follow up on the work of the Netherlands Presidency on negotiations on proposals for directives on mercury and on emission caps.
- Another key concern will be the preparation of a series of meetings of the parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.The Slovak Presidency, with the European Commission, will participate actively in the preparation of these meetings with a view to achieving agreement between the parties on reductions in the production and consumption of fluorinated greenhouse gases.
- Preparation of a meeting of the ICAO Assembly, which will include discussion of the global emissions trading system in the field of aviation.
- Ratification of the Minamata Convention and the Gothenburg Protocol.