Advantage or problem for France?

The independent think tank Montaigne Institute noted that since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty at the end of 2009, the role of the state presiding over the consilium has significantly decreased, which is different from the bloc’s presidency now. With 27 members after leaving the UK.

He stressed that “the responsibility has decreased, and if before that he chaired the meetings of Member States at all levels, this is no longer the case.”

Therefore, the President of the Council, former Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, will continue to lead the meetings of that body, and not the French President, Emmanuel Macron. While Ireland’s Finance Minister, Paschal Donohue, will continue to lead the Eurogroup, not France’s Economy and Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, as one might think.

Paris, through its portfolio chairs, will lead EU Council of Ministers sessions on 10 key aspects, ranging from trade and health to agriculture and fisheries, and will be able to influence the order of the day and bring decisions to a vote.

This means the enormous challenge of organizing hundreds of meetings, as well as adopting a position of mediation and even neutrality, according to experts, but with an environment “polluted” by the health crisis of Covid-19 and the French presidential elections, planned for April.

Faced with this election, Macron has not yet officially taken his candidacy, although no one doubts that he will seek another five years at the Elysee.

The European vision is one of the points defended by the ruler, and in this sense he considered the European Union the only way for France to be stronger in the face of “the failures of the world and the great powers”, despite the fact that its citizens do not always identify with the concept of European integration.

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A survey conducted by Europa Nova, the French Institute for Public Opinion and Le Journal du Dimanche, also published in Corriere della Sera and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, showed that only 29 percent of French people support European sovereignty in the context of greater integration. It is a standard defended by 50 percent of Italians and 43 percent of Germans.

Regardless of the ultimate responsibility and weight in decisions, Paris expects a lot from its presidency in the Council, a lawmaker co-authored with the European Parliament, with priorities such as reform of the Schengen area aimed at protecting borders.

(taken from orb)

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