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19/05/2006 23:15 Local Time 
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Frequently Asked Questions about the EU presidency

1. What is the role of the EU presidency?
The Member State that assumes the Presidency of the Council: Coordinates cooperation between EU member states at the European Council. Represents the Council in the EU’s other institutional bodies, particularly the European Parliament and the European Commission. Acts on behalf of the EU at international organisations as well as in relation to third countries. The presidency is held in turn on a six-monthly basis.

2. When does Greece assume the EU presidency?
Greece takes over the Presidency of the European Union from Denmark on 1 January 2003, in circumstances of great importance for the future course of the EU. Greece hands over to Italy on 1 July 2003.

3. What are the Greek presidency’s priorities?

  • The completion of the enlargement process.
  • The speeding up of implementation of the Lisbon Strategy.
  • The taking of specific initiatives and the shaping of common objectives and uniform practices for a more balanced and long-term handling of the migration phenomenon.
  • The first in-depth discussion on the Future of Europe, based on the proposals of the Convention, which will take place at the Thessaloniki European Council.
  • In the area of external relations, the Presidency will focus its efforts on neighbouring regions, but without neglecting the Union’s obligations vis-à-vis other areas of the world.

4. Where will Council sessions be held during the Greek Presidency?
Many of the Council sessions will be held in various towns and cities around Greece; others will be held in Brussels and Luxembourg.

5. Where will the European Council meet during the Greek Presidency?
 The Spring European Council will be held in Brussels on 21 and 22 March, 2003. The European Council summit will be held in Thessaloniki on 20 and 21 June.


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