The Presidency of the Council of the European Union rotates between each member of the European Union and is held by that country for a period of six months. This allows each member-state a chance to contribute to the EU’s development by pursuing priorities as it sees fit.

Currently, the EU’s rotating presidency is held by Cyprus. Since the Lisbon Treaty entered into force on December 1, 2009, European Council meetings (of the heads of state and governments of the 27 Member States) are now chaired by the President of the European Council, currently Herman Van Rompu from Belgium. At the same time, the Council of Ministers meetings (in ten different areas including the General Affairs, Environment, and Transport councils, among others) are chaired by Cyprus’s corresponding ministers. For example, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council is currently chaired by Cyprus’s Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Sofoclis Aletraris.

Cyprus took over the EU presidency from Denmark on July 1, 2012 and will be handing it over to Ireland on January 1, 2013. Lithuania will then take the Presidency on July 1, 2013.

Check out the Council Presidency website for information on its agenda.