This article addresses the Council presidency trio mechanism codified in the Lisbon Treaty with a particular focus on the continuity question in the Council's decision-making framework. The aim of the article is to explore the effect of the formalised trio programme on continuity in the Council's decision-making process. To this end, the article looks at how the trio mechanism has evolved over time and how it functions in practice.
While some analysts have been sceptical about the usefulness of the trio programme, these findings demonstrate that the launch of this institutional tool has improved the continuity in the Council's decision-making process. The positive effect on continuity results from three main factors-the trio programme as a formal tool in the Council's institutional tool-kit; the existence of political will among the presidencies to cooperate; and, lastly, the guiding role of the Council Secretariat. The article presents evidence gathered by tracing the preparations of joint trio programmes from 2007 to 2012.
Batory, A. & Puetter, U. (2011), The Trio Presidency in the European Union of the Lisbon Treaty: The Case of the Spanish, Belgium and Hungarian Group Presidency, Budapest: Centre for European Union Research, Central European University.
— (2013), ‘Consistency and Diversity? The EU's Rotating Trio Council Presidency after the Lisbon Treaty, ’ Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 95-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2012.693418
Bulmer, S. (1993), ‘The Governance of the European Union: a New Institutionalist Approach, ’ Journal of Public Policy, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 351-380. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0143814X0000115X
Christiansen, T. (2006), ‘The Council of Ministers, ’ in J. Richardson (ed.) European Union: Power and Policy-Making, 3rd edition, Abingdon, etc.: Routledge, pp.148-168.
Culley, P.; Neisse, J. & Raik, E. (2012), ‘Le trio de présidences, ’ in V. Charléty & M. Mangenot (eds.) Le système présidentiel de l’Union européenne après Lisbonne, Strasbourg: école nationale d'administration (ENA), pp. 79-91.
Dinan, D. (2013), ‘The Post-Lisbon European Council Presidency: An Interim Assessment, ’ West European Politics, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 1256-1273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2013.826029
Drieskens, E. (2011), ‘Ceci n'est pas une présidence: the 2010 Belgian presidency of the EU, ’ Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 49, Issue Supplement s1, pp. 91-102.
EC (1999), Helsinki European Council Declaration, Document of the Council of the European Union, SN/300/99, 10-11.12.2003.
— (2002), Seville European Council Presidency Conclusions, Document of the Council of the European Union, 13463/02, 24.10.2002.
— (2009a), European Council Decision of 1 December 2009 on the exercise of the Presidency of the Council, The Official Journal of the European Union, L 315, 2.12.2009.
— (2009b), European Council Decision of 1 December 2009 adopting the Council's Rules of Procedure, The Official Journal of the European Union, L 325, 11.12.2009.
— (2012), Declaration N°9 annexed to the Final Act of the Intergovernmental Conference adopting the Lisbon Treaty, signed on 13 December 2007. Declaration on Article 16 (9) of the Treaty on European Union concerning the European Council decision on the exercise of the presidency of the Council, Articles 1-2, The Official Journal of the European Union, C 326, 26.10.2012.
CESC (1951), Treaty Establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, Article 27 (1951), 18.04.1951.
Hayes-Renshaw, F. & Wallace, H. (2006), The Council of Ministers, 2nd edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Jensen, M. D. & Nedergaard, P. (2014), ‘Uno, Duo, Trio? Varieties of Trio Presidencies in the Council of Ministers, ’ Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 52, no. 5, pp. 1035-1052.
Knill, C. (2001), The Europeanisation of National Administrations: Patterns of Institutional Change and Persistence, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511491986
Mangenot, M. (2011), ‘De la présidence au système présidentiel: une institutionnalisation improbable du traité de Paris à celui de Lisbonne, ’ in V. Charléty & M. Mangenot (eds.) Le système présidentiel de l’Union européenne après Lisbonne, Strasbourg: école nationale d'administration (ENA), pp. 21-32.
March, J. G. & Olsen, J. P. (2006), ‘The logic of appropriateness, ’ in M. Moran, M. Rein & R. E. Goodin (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Public Policy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 689-708.
Mazzucelli, C. G. (2008), Leadership in the European Union: Assessing the Significance of the Trio Council Presidency, Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Article Series, vol. 8, no. 17(August).
Mazzucelli, C. G. & Dragomata, R. (2009), Leadership in the European Union: Assessing the Influence of the French-Czech-Swedish Trio Council Presidency. Paper presented at the APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting. Retrieved from http://ssrn.com/abstract=1450346 [accessed 28 May 2014]
Raik, E. (2011), Interaction in the Council of the European Union. Presidency and General Secretariat of the Council in the Area of EU Development Cooperation, Saarbücken: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller
Sherrington, P. (2000), The Council of Ministers: Political Authority in the European Union, London: Pinter.
TEEC (1957), Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community, Article 146, Luxembourg: Publishing Services of the European Communities.
Udoviè, B. & Svetlièiè, M. (2012), ‘Does the Trio Matter? The Case of the Slovenian EU Council Presidency, ’ Romanian Journal of Political Science, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 4-28.
Vanhoonacker, S. (2005), ‘The institutional framework, ’ in Ch. Hill & M. Smith (eds.) International Relations and the European Union, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Viera, A. V. G. & Lange, S. K. (2012), Beyond Continuity: Analysis of the Effects of the First Trio Presidency on Policy Coherence for Development, European Integration online Papers (EIoP). Retrieved from http://eiop.or.at/eiop/index.php/eiop/article/view/2012_014a/238 [accessed 22 May 2014]
Warntjen, A. (2013a), ‘The rotating Council presidency hinders legislative continuity in the Council of the European Union’ [Weblog]. Retrieved from http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2013/12/11/the-rotating-council-presidency-hinderslegislative-continuity-in-the-council-of-the-european-union/ [accessed 10 Mar 2014]
— (2013b), ‘The Elusive Goal of Continuity? Legislative Decision-Making and the Council Presidency before and after Lisbon, ’ West European Politics, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 1239-1255. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2013.826028
Westlake, M. & Galloway, D. (2004), The Council of the European Union, 3rd edition, London: Harper