PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION – INSTITUTIONAL GOVERNANCE OR POLITICAL PROCESS?
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The entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon has brought about significant changes in the institutional system and decision-making process of the European Union, which have had an essential impact on the method and effects of holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU. The changes include, first of all, the institutionalisation of the European Council and the procedure for appointing the President of the European Council; the establishment of the institution of High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; and changes in the scope and course of the ordinary legislative procedure, which is the most frequently used procedure in the EU’s legislative work. The role of the Presidency in shaping European policies, as broadly understood, has signif-icantly decreased in favour of the European Council. The appointment of the High Rep-resentative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the strengthening of the Euro Group’s power have also weakened the position of the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU. It should be emphasised, however, that owing to new and ever more frequently used legislative paths (e.g. informal trilogue with the European Parlia-ment and the Commission), the importance of the actions taken by the rotating Presi-dency in the EU’s decision-making process is growing.
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