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Maltese EU Presidency

The Presidency of the Council of the EU is shared among the national governments of the 28 Member States, transferring from one Member State to another every six months, on 1 January and 1 July each year. The office of the Presidency comes with significant responsibility: the host Member State chairs meetings of the Council of the EU, one of the EU’s major decision-making bodies, during its term. In addition, the Presidency is responsible for ensuring that Member States work in harmony, negotiating compromises when necessary, and at all times acting in the interest of the EU as a whole.

The Presidency’s programme of work is shared by three Member States (the ‘Presidency trio’) over an 18-month period. The Presidency sets out detailed goals that it wants to achieve during its period of office and, with the other Presidency trio members, longer-term objectives that could not realistically be achieved in only six months.

Malta hosts the Presidency of the Council of the EU from 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017.

This is the third and final term of the current Presidency trio, following the Dutch and Slovak Presidencies. These countries have been working together since January 2016 to implement their 18-month work programme.

The Maltese Presidency focuses on social inclusion, migration and the single market. Its priorities include:

  • fostering a progressive approach to social inclusion and issues such as gender equality in the labour market;
  • supporting a Europe-wide effort to help refugees;
  • encouraging debate on the role of and challenges for the EU, with the aim of bringing it closer to the people;
  • examining how changes to legislation on the single market could benefit small and medium-sized enterprises and consumers.

These priorities of the Maltese Presidency reflect the five overarching priorities of the strategic agenda of the European Council laid down in 2014.

These priorities are:

  • jobs, growth and competitiveness;
  • the empowerment and protection of all citizens;
  • an energy union and a forward-looking climate policy;
  • freedom, security and justice;
  • the EU as a strong global actor.


Visit the website of the Maltese Presidency

Read the Presidency trio’s programme of work

Video: ‘What is the Council presidency and how does it work?’