The ‘Trio Presidency’ of the Council of the European Union: Towards More Continuity?

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Abstract

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.

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Baltic Journal of European Studies

Tallinn Law School, Department of Law, School of Business and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology

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