Ireland takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union

From January 1st 2013 Ireland has assumed the presidency of the European Union. Forty years after its entry into the Union, the country assumes the presidency for the seventh time with the objective of strengthening the stability and initiate the renewal of economic governance in the EU ensuring job creation and economic growth.

With the beginning of the year 2013 it also kicks-off the period of the rotating presidency of the Council that during the first semester of the year will be held by Ireland. This presidency will be ensured while Ireland is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of its entry into the European Union and is also the seventh time the country assumes the presidency of the Council. In a context where Europe continues to work towards economic recovery and difficulties still persist, the main challenge for the Irish presidency of the Council of the EU will focus on ensuring economic stability and working on job creation, especially for younger people.

The priorities of the Irish presidency will detailed during the first weeks of this semester. In general terms, these priorities will focus in ensuring economic stability and youth employment and developing legislation to promote the digital economy and support measures for small and medium enterprises. They will also pay special attention to the potential of natural resources both on land and sea, and to promote trade agreements with third countries as well as pursuing EU's enlargement agenda.

These priorities have been chosen in response to the current agenda of the EU and seek to deepen the main challenges for the coming years. The Irish presidency also coincides with the European Year of Citizens 2013 which aims to lay the foundations of how the Union of 2020 will look like.