In concluding two years of preparation, the Greek Presidency feels a sense of responsibility towards the European family regarding the crucial role it is undertaking at a time which is strongly characterised by transition. It is making every effort, in a balanced way, to continue the very positive work of the Danish Presidency, by either furthering or concluding outstanding issues but also by introducing new ideas and proposals for action in the context of the enlarged Europe.
In this sense, the work of organising an EU presidency has taken on dimensions that are totally different compared to the period of the previous Greek presidency in 1994. The Office of the Greek Presidency, which is based in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has undertaken this task of organisation. Specifically, the role of the Office of the Greek Presidency consists in the coordination of all organisational matters pertaining to the Presidency. The Office informs and provides support to the ministries, as well as the competent administrative agencies, regarding the specifications and prerequisites of each meeting or event, so that every activity falling under the Action Programme of the Greek Presidency is in compliance with Community rules. In addition, it acts as an intermediary vis-à-vis third parties and the Council Secretariat, whilst contributing in general to organisation by providing advice and general supervision.
Furthermore, the staff of the permanent delegation in Brussels has been doubled. Working committees have been set up to examine special issues, with the participation of government officials and university professors. Lastly, each ministry will be responsible for the Presidency in its own area of competence, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs having the overall coordinating role.
During the Greek Presidency, there will be two European Councils, five international summits, 39 regular Council meetings, as well as 14 informal Councils and ministerial meetings. In addition, 16 international meetings of the Troika and more than 180 meetings and conferences are scheduled to be held at various other levels in 36 towns around Greece.
It is to be noted that all the meetings and the conferences held at the Zappeion building are covered by a Medical Clinic staffed and equipped to handle any medical needs that may arise, including emergencies. The Clinic is staffed and organized by the 1st Regional Health System of Athens, in collaboration with its major Hospitals and the National Emergency Medical Care Centre.