CLEER Presidency lecture series – The Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union
By Dr Tamara Takács
On 18 September, The Centre for the Law of EU External Relations (CLEER), hosted by the T.M.C Asser Insituut, organised an event on the recent Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the EU from a particular perspective: the role of the Presidency in coordination and leadership in global and regional issues, the assessment of the country’s performance in fulfilling its aspirations and what its actions mean for the European Union’s international relations.
H.E. Teresa Angelatou, Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the Netherlands addressed the audience, representatives of the diplomatic contingent, academic and students, with a detailed account of the undeniable achievements the Hellenic Presidency made at the helm of the Council in the first half of the year. Amongst such important achievements, she highlighted the adoption of the European Maritime Security Strategy, a tool to promote maritime governance and an agreement of strategic interest for the EU. In addition, she took note of the confirmation of the Euro-Atlantic perspective for the Western Balkans and revitalisation of the Thessaloniki agenda (2003) by the granting of candidate status to Albania and the formal start of accession negotiation with Serbia, and furthering the accession process of Montenegro by the opening of new negotiation chapters. Ambassador Angelatou also spoke of the effective administration of chairing of meetings, setting of agendas and coordinating between the various decision-making actors within the Brussels arena – all challenging tasks of the rotating Presidency.
Responding to Ambassador Angelatou’s insightful presentation, Dr Joris Larik, Senior researcher and representative of The Hague Institute for Global Justice at the CLEER governing structures, added an academic’s perspective. Dr Larik spoke about the positive implication of furthering the accession promises in the Western Balkans, and that of the adoption of the European Maritime Security Strategy, mentioning that the latter should not carry the risk of securisation in the Mediterranean region. He took also note of the constructive approach of the Hellenic Presidency to the situation in Eastern Ukraine, highlighting the advantages of not giving in to military reaction. The event was chaired and the discussion moderated by Dr Tamara Takács, Senior researcher in EU law, and Academic programme coordinator of CLEER.
This was the sixth event in this lecture series, providing an insight in the major challenges and achievements in representation, negotiation, coordination at the helm of the EU Council. With these events the Centre wishes to create closer cooperation with the diplomatic missions in The Hague.
Information regarding forthcoming events may be found on the CLEER website: www.cleer.eu.
The author is a Senior researcher in EU law – Academic programme coordinator of CLEER – T.M.C. Asser Instituut. She is founder contributing-writer of Diplomat Magazine