The Presidency of the European Union Council – Lithuania

The Presidency of the European Union Council rotates among the 28 Member-states for a period of 6 months each. During that time the Member-state that has the Presidency chairs meetings at every level, and also proposes guidelines and tries to reach consensus about the issues on the Council’s agenda.

Since the Treaty of Lisbon has been in force that the only configuration of the Council that isn’t chaired by a Member-state is the Foreign Affairs Council, which is presided by a High Representative, who is, presently, Ms Catherine Ashton.

In order to guarantee the continuity of the themes, Presidencies work in trios, by developing a joint programme for a period of 18 months. On the 1st July 2013 Lithuania began its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, following Ireland in the trio of Member-states that have a coordinated agenda and work plan. This trio will end with Greece’s Presidency during the 1st semester of 2014.

The main priorities for the Lithuanian Presidency, with the theme “Focus Europe”, are:

  • Credible Europe – credible financial and economic policies
  • Growing Europe – commitment to growth and competiveness
  • Open Europe – able to tackle global challenges effectively

The main priorities outlined for Education and Training (E&T) are:

  • Internationalisation of Higher Education
  • Efficiency of Financing in Higher Education
  • Leadership in Education
  • Open Educational Resources and Digital Learning
  • Inclusive VET

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