The Netherlands Takes Over the Presidency of the EU

At the beginning of the year, the Netherlands took over the six month rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. It is the first in a “trio” of presidencies including Slovakia and Malta which share common goals and a long-term agenda. The work programme of the Dutch Presidency will focus on four key areas: migration and international security, sound finances and a robust eurozone, Europe as an innovator and job creator and forward-looking climate and energy policy.

The three Presidencies will be guided by the five priorities of the Strategic Agenda agreed by the European Council in June 2014: a union of jobs, growth and competitiveness; a union that empowers and protects all its citizens; working towards an Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy; a union of freedom, security and justice; and the union as a strong global actor. This will include the further deepening of the single market, particularly in the areas of services and the digital agenda.

The following horizontal priorities have also been indicated for the Dutch EU Presidency:

(i) improving quality and simplification of legislation;
(ii) growth and jobs (internal market, innovation and digital economy); and
(iii) active involvement of citizens and civil society in policymaking.

The Dutch Presidency will continue work on the Juncker Commission’s internal market priorities, notably including the Investment Plan for Europe, the Digital Single Market Strategy, the Energy Union, the Capital Markets Union, the Circular Economy package and the Internal Market Strategy. The Dutch Presidency will also launch the European Urban Agenda and partnerships around specific urban themes involving Member States, cities, the European Commission and other stakeholders.

Further information is available on the website of the Dutch EU Presidency at