EU Presidency Challenges: The Eight Steps to Successfully Manage and Chair Groups during the Rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU

14-16/Jun/2016  •  Maastricht

Project Leaders
Alain Guggenbühl
Frank Lavadoux
For more information about the activity, please contact:

Target group
The seminar is intended for future working party chairpersons and their deputy Chairs, members of the Presidency teams, file and Ministry coordinators, capital- or Brussels-based experts and national delegates. Good prior knowledge of EU decision-making is required to take full advantage of the training

The rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU plays a central role in managing the three phases of decision-shaping, decision-making and decision-taking. The leadership and success of an EU Presidency rely heavily on its ability to ensure momentum and achieve results. The Presidency has to deliver results within complex formal and informal procedures, intricate dynamics and long-haul processes of negotiation, as well as elaborated cross-cultural and inter-personal communications. This seminar looks into the strategic, logistical, procedural and practical actions required to successfully manage specifically identified challenges; it offers eight steps to cope with them. The seminar also aims to contribute to an exchange of practices and to foster connections between consecutive Presidencies.

Learning methodology
The seminar is highly interactive and consists of a combination of simulation exercises, workshops, situation rooms, case studies and presentations. It is organised around the practical aspects of preparing and chairing meetings, designing and implementing the agendas, leading the deliberations and negotiations, both within the Council and with the European Parliament. The seminar also discusses the relationship between the Presidency and the institutions, whilst providing a forum for debate on the preparation and management of the EU Presidency.

The objective of this seminar is to ensure that the Presidency teams are optimally aware of what is involved in leading EU deliberations negotiations from the inside. The eight challenges of the preparation and practical run up of any EU Presidency are addressed. After this module, participants will know how to:

  • work with the procedures in accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure;
  • manage formal and informal processes; network with the main players; map the stakeholders;
  • cooperate efficiently with the representatives of theCouncil Secretariat and the European Commission;
  • develop scenarios or a plan B for negotiations and appropriately prepare meetings;
  • open a meeting and work out the subsequent sequence of events;
  • apply technical and political tools for reaching compromises;
  • use effective communication techniques and adapt them to cross-cultural differences;
  • prepare for trilogues and negotiations with the European Parliament;
  • read better the positions and interests of the European Parliament, as well as the attitudes and voting preferences of MEPs.
This seminar will also be held in:
13/Jun/17 • Maastricht
and has also been held in:
27/Oct/15 • Maastricht9/Jun/15 • Maastricht