DECRYPTION – The 1er January, the European Union will be chaired by France. For Paris, this means intense diplomatic work, all the heavier as Emmanuel Macron mixes the European agenda and the electoral campaign.

A rotating presidency

The rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, more commonly known as the presidency of the EU, which France will assume in the first half of 2022, is a rare and demanding diplomatic exercise for the member state in charge. As early as 1958, the year following the signing of the Treaty of Rome, the rotation was implemented in alphabetical order. The first presidency therefore fell to Belgium (Germany appears under its German name of Deutschland and the Netherlands under that of Nederland) in the first half of 1958. France’s turn came a year later. At the time, the Community brought together only six countries (Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands), each Member State therefore found itself in the driver’s seat every three years. With the successive enlargements, the periods at the head of the Council have become considerably longer. 1er next January, France will certainly begin its 13e European Presidency but the previous one took place on …

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