French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, January to June 2022

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Publication Date 2022
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Summary:

Information Guide providing an overview concerning the French presidency of the Council of the European Union, which runs from 1 January to 30 June 2022.

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France is one of the founding members of the European Union, and it has held the presidency of the Council of the European Union 12 times. This is the first of a Presidency Trio which also includes Czechia and Sweden. The motto of this Presidency is Recovery, strength and a sense of belonging.

The motto reflected the priorities of the French presidency:

  • Recovery, to enable the EU to support the ecological and digital transitions;
  • Strength, to defend and promote common values and interests;
  • Sense of belonging, to build and develop a shared EU vision through culture, values and common history.

According to a speech given by President Emmanuel Macron on 9 December 2021, the activities of the presidency were set to focus on three main areas:

  • Pursuing an agenda for European sovereignty;
  • Building a new European growth model;
  • Creating a more human-sized Europe.

The French presented and debated the priorities of this Council Presidency with the plenary of the European Parliament on 19 January 2022.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Corporate Europe Observatory, 12/10/2021: France's EU presidency is being prepared in cooperation with French corporate interests https://corporateeurope.org/en/2021/10/frances-eu-presidency-being-prepared-cooperation-french-corporate-interests
European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR): Podcasts, 22/10/2021: French Connection: Macron’s plans for Europe https://ecfr.eu/podcasts/episode/french-connection-macrons-plans-for-europe/
European Student Think Tank: Articles & Blogs, 14/11/2021: Assessing the Incoming French Presidency to the Council of the European Union: Will the EU turn protectionist? https://esthinktank.com/2021/11/14/assessing-the-incoming-french-presidency-to-the-council-of-the-european-union-will-the-eu-turn-protectionist/
Politico, 18/11/2021: Why Macron is running from Europe https://www.politico.eu/article/emmanuel-macron-running-from-europe/
EUObserver: Opinion, 06/12/2021: How to 'Europeanise' the upcoming French EU presidency? https://euobserver.com/opinion/153720
Human Rights Watch (HRW): News, 09/12/2021: France: Put Fundamental Rights at Top of EU Agenda https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/12/09/france-put-fundamental-rights-top-eu-agenda
Sciences Po: Centre Etudes Europeennes: The 2022 French Presidency of the Council of the European Union Conference (9-10 December 2021) https://www.sciencespo.fr/centre-etudes-europeennes/fr/content/2022-french-presidency-council-european-union-conference.html
The Local (France), 13/12/2021: What does it mean for France to take over EU presidency? https://www.thelocal.fr/20211213/what-does-it-mean-for-france-to-take-over-eu-presidency/
IE University: Insights, 16/12/2021: The French Elections, Much Ado about the EU https://www.ie.edu/insights/articles/the-french-elections-much-ado-about-the-eu/
The Economist: Charlemagne, 18/12/2021: Emmanuel Macron’s tricky Christmas present https://www.economist.com/europe/2021/12/18/emmanuel-macrons-tricky-christmas-present
The Guardian, 03/01/2022: Why Europe’s Muslims are braced for France’s stint running the EU presidency https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2022/jan/03/europes-muslims-braced-frances-eu-presidency
Politico, 03/01/2022: EU flag is collateral damage as French presidential campaign heats up https://www.politico.eu/article/arc-de-triomphe-paris-european-union-flag-france-election-2022-emmanuel-macron/
EPRS: Briefing, January 2022: Priority dossiers under the French EU Council Presidency https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document/EPRS_BRI(2022)698865
Euro|topics, January 2022: EU flag affair: Macron shows his colours https://www.eurotopics.net/en/273843/
Social Europe, 19/01/2022: Macron wants EU ‘sovereignty’—but for whom? https://socialeurope.eu/macron-wants-eu-sovereignty-but-for-whom/
The Economist, 22/01/2022: Emmanuel Macron’s rivals are less Eurosceptic than before https://www.economist.com/europe/2022/01/22/emmanuel-macrons-rivals-are-less-eurosceptic-than-before

News
Reuters, 09/10/2021: French EU presidency to push for worldwide end to death penalty, says Macron https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/french-eu-presidency-push-worldwide-end-death-penalty-says-macron-2021-10-09/
Politico, 09/10/2021: Macron to use EU presidency to push for worldwide end of death penalty https://www.politico.eu/article/macron-eu-presidency-death-penalty-china-india/
RFI News, 07/12/2021: Emmanuel Macron outlines '3 axes' of France's upcoming EU presidency https://www.rfi.fr/en/europe/20211207-emmanuel-macron-outlines-3-axes-of-france-s-upcoming-eu-presidency
Associated Press, 09/12/2021: Macron unveils EU agenda before French presidential race https://apnews.com/article/business-france-elections-paris-presidential-elections-4c526533eded48676360f8ab88615183
The New York Times, 09/12/2021: A New Ambition for the European Union: ‘Power’ https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/09/world/europe/macron-france-eu.html
The Irish Times, 09/12/2021: Macron calls for stronger EU borders and closer defence ties https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/macron-calls-for-stronger-eu-borders-and-closer-defence-ties-1.4751559
Politico, 09/12/2021: French election permeates Macron’s EU presidency priorities https://www.politico.eu/article/france-emmanuel-macron-elections-eu/
EurActiv, 10/12/2021: Macron presents France’s EU Council presidency priorities https://www.euractiv.com/section/future-eu/news/macron-presents-frances-eu-council-presidency-priorities/
France24, 31/12/2021: Germany backs France for 'more sovereign' Europe as Paris set for turn at EU presidency https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20211231-germany-backs-france-for-more-sovereign-europe-as-paris-set-for-turn-at-eu-presidency
Euronews, 01/01/2022: France sets out an ambitious programme for its presidency of the European Union https://www.euronews.com/2022/01/01/france-sets-out-an-ambitious-programme-for-its-presidency-of-the-european-union
France24, 01/01/2022: France takes over EU presidency as national election looms https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20220101-macron-takes-over-eu-presidency-as-national-election-looms
Deutsche Welle, 01/01/2022: France takes over EU presidency with push for 'strategic autonomy' https://p.dw.com/p/4536R
The Guardian, 01/01/2022: ‘Turning point for Europe’: Macron takes EU helm as French election looms https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/01/turning-point-for-europe-macron-takes-eu-helm-as-french-election-looms
Politico, 02/01/2022: EU flag under the Arc de Triomphe comes down as culture war boils https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-council-france-macron-presidency-flag-arc-triomph/
Swissinfo.ch, 02/01/2022: EU flag removed from Arc de Triomphe after causing stir https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/eu-flag-removed-from-arc-de-triomphe-after-causing-stir/47232622
BBC News, 03/01/2022: EU flag removed from Arc de Triomphe after right-wing outrage https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-59852577
RFI News, 04/01/2022: Pressure to deliver as Macron takes EU helm ahead of French elections https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20220104-pressure-to-deliver-as-macron-takes-eu-helm-ahead-of-french-elections
EurActiv, 04/01/2022: 2022: high expectations for Macron from both Brussels and Paris https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-council-presidency/news/2022-high-expectations-for-macron-from-both-brussels-and-paris/
Deutsche Welle, 05/01/2022: France aims at Big Tech as it kicks off EU presidency https://p.dw.com/p/457r6
Politico, 19/01/2022: Macron pitches direct talks between Europe and Russia https://www.politico.eu/article/macron-wants-new-euro-russian-security-negotiation/
France24,19/01/2022: France's EU presidency: Macron calls for European 'collective security' pact, dialogue with Russia https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20220119-emmanuel-macron-to-present-priorities-to-the-european-parliament
Politico, 19/01/2022: Macron’s EU speech descends into French campaign brawl https://www.politico.eu/article/macron-eu-speech-french-election-campaign-fight/
Euronews, 19/01/2022: The EU must focus on climate, tech and security, Macron says as he kicks off French presidency https://www.euronews.com/2022/01/19/macron-to-kick-off-french-eu-presidency-with-speech-to-meps-in-strasbourg
The Guardian, 19/01/2022: Macron says EU must start own dialogue with Russia over Ukraine https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/19/macron-says-eu-must-start-own-dialogue-with-russia-over-ukraine
EurActiv, 19/01/2022: Macron’s French EU presidency presentation turns into a settling of scores https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-council-presidency/news/macrons-french-eu-presidency-presentation-turns-into-a-settling-of-scores/
Deutsche Welle, 19/01/2022: Macron proposes security pact to make Europe a 'power of the future' https://p.dw.com/p/45mID
Associated Press, 19/01/2022: Rivals say Macron is using EU as springboard for French vote https://apnews.com/article/european-union-emmanuel-macron-europe-france-elections-c163babc5c0f28aac45e446ad28202a0
RFE/RL, 19/01/2022: France's Macron Calls For EU Security Pact To Put Forward To Russia https://www.rferl.org/a/france-eu-security-russia/31661610.html
RFI News, 19/01/2022: Macron waxes lyrical on Europe but French MEPs pull him down to earth https://www.rfi.fr/en/europe/20220119-macron-waxes-lyrical-on-europe-but-french-meps-pull-him-down-to-earth-russia-ukraine-security-pact-eu-presidency
EUObserver, 20/01/2022: Macron calls for new security order and talks with Russia https://euobserver.com/world/154138

Official
Official Website of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (2022) https://presidence-francaise.consilium.europa.eu/
General Secretariat of the Council: The presidency of the Council of the EU https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/council-eu/presidency-council-eu/
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The French Presidency of the Council of the European Union https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/europe/the-french-presidency-of-the-council-of-the-european-union/
French Embassy in the UK: News, 04/11/2020: France outlines plans for EU presidency in 2022 https://uk.ambafrance.org/France-outlines-plans-for-EU-presidency-in-2022
French Presidency, 09/12/2021: Presentation on the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (in French) https://www.elysee.fr/emmanuel-macron/2021/12/09/presentation-de-la-presidence-francaise-du-conseil-de-lunion-europeenne
EUSPA: News, 07/01/2022: French EU Presidency can rely on #EUSpace to support its priorities https://www.euspa.europa.eu/newsroom/news/french-eu-presidency-can-rely-euspace-support-its-priorities
European Commission: Statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with President Macron on the presentation of the programme of activities of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU (7 January 2022) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/statement_22_161
UNHCR: Press Release, 10/01/2022: UNHCR issues recommendations to the 2022 French and Czech Presidencies of the Council of the EU https://www.unhcr.org/uk/news/press/2022/1/61dc1f074/unhcr-issues-recommendations-2022-french-czech-presidencies-council-eu.html
European Parliament: Press Release, 19/01/2022: MEPs debated the French Presidency’s priorities with Emmanuel Macron https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20220114IPR21014/
European Commission: Speech by Vice-President Šefčovič on behalf of President von der Leyen at the European Parliament on the presentation of the programme of the French Presidency (19 January 2022) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/speech_22_424
Greens/EFA EP Group: Press Release, 19/01/2022: EFA MEPs call on President Macron to respect the European diversity https://www.greens-efa.eu/en/article/press/efa-meps-call-on-president-macron-to-respect-the-european-diveristy
European Parliament: Press Release, 25/01/2022: French Presidency briefs the European Parliament’s committees on its priorities https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20220119IPR21311/

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