14. January 2016
The Presidency of the Council of the EU 2016
As of January 1st 2016, the Netherlands hold the EU presidency. Following top priorities define the Dutch presidency work program:
- handling migration and international security in light of the current refugee crisis
- strengthening economic growth and employment
- reducing bureaucratic hurdles and costs
- developing a forward-looking climate and energy policy
- encouraging the participation of the public and of civil society organizations in decision-making processes
Through this agenda, the Dutch presidency seeks to strengthen the EU's capacity for action and reform.
A first assessment and some demands
bayme vbm vbw welcoms this prioritization, as the EU is facing grave challenges. We strongly believe that the stability of the Economic and Monetary Union has to be secured, economic inequality between member states needs to be reduced through reforms and an increase in competitiveness and the current refugee crisis needs to be tackled through European solidarity. Additionally, a uniform energy policy as well as a digitalized European market should be realized. The abolition of trade barriers should be a key goal to enhance the international competitiveness of the export-oriented European industry. Finalizing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would be taking one vital step towards increasing market opportunities for European businesses.
We believe that the Dutch tradition of dialogue and collaboration can help to bring Europe closer together.
The presidency of the Council of the EU
The presidency of the Council of the EU rotates among the EU member states every 6 months. During this 6-month period, the presidency chairs meetings at every level in the Council, helping to ensure the continuity of the EU's work in the Council. Holding the Presidency involves mediating and brokering compromises between the 28 EU member states and between EU institutions like the Council, European Commission and European Parliament.
Please see the Netherlands presidency website for further information.