THE DANISH EU PRESIDENCY OF 2012: A GOOD MODEL FOR A PRESIDENCY IN TIME OF CRISIS?
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Generally, it is widely recognised that the Danish EU Presidency was pro-fessional and executed in the spirit of an honest broker.1 At the level of the officials involved, the Danish Presidency was viewed as well-organised and result-oriented. At the same time, the Danish Presidency in 2012 was in a way disadvantaged by the fact that there was not any single big issue to be solved, as was the case in its previous Presidency in 2002, when the forthcoming enlargement was the biggest issue. This situation was taken into account in the process of formatting the Presidency in a such way that it was defined as a low-ambition leadership insofar as Denmark’s own pri¬orities and the far-reaching goals of the Presidency were concerned. Some argue that nothing more was to be expected from a historically EU-sceptic small country. Instead of an ambitious agenda, a number of issues were brought forward to the EU decision-making process which were a logical follow-up of the EU agenda. At the same time the Presidency was visibly silent on EU external policies and was discernibly dis¬turbed at least twice: on the low carbon road map (unexpectedly vetoed by Poland) and on the Schengen Evaluation Mechanism, which led the Presidency into an unfore¬seen heated dispute with the European Parliament at the end of its term in office. Overall however, it is fair to say that the Danish Presidency eventually managed to fit the brand of an ‘honest broker’ or ‘bridge over troubled waters’ Presidency, with a touch of sustainability and green colour as its ‘brand’.
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