From January 1st until June 30th 2013 Ireland will host the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
For those six months our small country will be at the centre of decision making in Europe, helping to shape policies and drive forward legislation that will impact on the futures of over 500 million EU citizens.
Hosting the Presidency is an important role for any Member State. It comes with a lot of responsibility, as the host nation must undertake a number of functions that are essential for the smooth operation of the European Union as a whole.
It’s both a privilege and an obligation to assume the role but Ireland has done it before with great honour and distinction, presiding over some of the most momentous moments in Europe’s history during the six previous Irish Presidencies.