On 1 January, France assumed the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Taking over from Slovenia, the country will for the next six months chair meetings of the Council, determine its agendas, set a work programme, and facilitate discussions both at Council meetings and with other EU institutions.
Last week, the members of the European Commission visited Paris to mark the start of the French Presidency. Speaking at a press conference together with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, European President Ursula von der Leyen said that she was delighted that a country with the political weight and experience of France was taking on the Council Presidency at this delicate time.
The six liberal EU Commissioners attended the event and profited to go over the priorities of the presidency with the French President and his cabinet.
“In Paris to welcome the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, just a few days after the publication of the Presidency’s programme. Great opportunity to go over the priorities with minister Barbara Pompili and others,” stated Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson.
In Paris to welcome the French 🇫🇷Presidency of the Council of the European Union 🇪🇺, just a few days after the publication of the Presidency’s programme. Great opportunity to go over the priorities with minister @barbarapompili & others. pic.twitter.com/cHQvFXxtMU— Kadri Simson (@KadriSimson) January 7, 2022
“Tribute to Simone Veil and Jean Monnet; working meetings with the President of the Republic and the government, discussions with the National Assembly and the Senate of France. Two days in Paris rich in symbols and dialogues to launch the French Presidency of the EU Council for 2022. We are mobilized for a strong Europe!” declared Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton.
Hommage à Simone Veil & Jean Monnet; réunions de travail avec le Président de la République & le gouvernement, échanges à l’Assemblée nationale & au Sénat🇫🇷— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) January 7, 2022
2 journées à Paris riches en symboles & dialogues pour lancer la #PFUE2022
Nous sommes mobilisés pour une Europe forte!🇪🇺 pic.twitter.com/Dcuvv81zlI
The liberal members of the European Parliament welcomed the incoming French presidency and pledged to be “strong partners for reform to build a more competitive, stronger and greener Europe”. Renew Europe Group leader Stephane Séjourné described the presidency as a “source of pride for all French people and the political family to which the French government belongs”.
We welcome the start of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU with high hopes & expectations!— Renew Europe (@RenewEurope) January 1, 2022
It's time to reinvent our European Union.
In the months ahead, we will be strong partners for reform to build a more competitive, stronger & greener 🇪🇺 #PFUE2022 https://t.co/b3BqVPl92e
The French Presidency has expressed its priorities for the six-month term in three words: climate, social, and digital:
“Digital technology: our priority will be the economic regulation and accountability of platforms, especially with regard to hate speech, with legislation on digital services and markets (DSA and DMA); Ecological transition: our priority will be the establishment of carbon pricing at the EU borders for imported products. It is a matter of economic and ecological efficiency; Social: our priority will be to establish European legislation on minimum wages.”
In addition to the scheduled Presidential (April) and Parliamentary (June) elections in France, the work of the Conference on the Future of Europe will also conclude in spring 2022. Since the start of the Conference, the ALDE Party has been conducting its own events and public consultations, which you can learn more about here.
Photo credit: Thierry Breton