The privilege and also obligation of holding the Presidency was introduced in the Treaty of 1957 establishing European Communities. As experience has shown, however, the period of six months is not enough for a state holding the Presidency to effectively realise the objectives that are set. Thus, a new idea began to emerge of a group Presidency with three Member States which are to exercise the Presidency one after the other, coordinating their objectives to be met within 18 months, or the period of three subsequent Presidencies. Effective results are also assured by the fact that each trio consists of one large and two smaller Member States and each trio comprises states of the old and the enlarged Union.
Pursuant to the European Council Decision of January 1,.2007 a new order of Presidency was established after the accession of Bulgaria and Romania. At present, the order covers 27 Member States and has been established up until the middle of 2020. The first states to hold the Presidency under the new system were Germany, Portugal and Slovenia.
Currently, the order of holding the Trio Presidency adopted in 2007 has been confirmed until the year 2020 (Article 1 of the Council Decision of December 1, 2009 laying down the measures for the implementation of the European Council Decision on the exercise of the Presidency of the Council, and on the chairmanship of preparatory bodies of the Council). The order in which the Presidency will be held after the first half of 2020 must be decided by the Council prior to July 1, 2017 (Article 3 of the Council Decision of January 1,.2009). Pursuant to Article 1(2) and 1(3) of the Decision, Member States of the Presidency groups are authorised to decide on the “reshuffling” within the group and presiding over specific configurations throughout the period of 18 months.
Poland, taking over the Presidency in July 2011, will be the first and the largest country of the Trio, which also includes the Kingdom of Denmark and the Republic of Cyprus. Poland has been working on matters concerning cooperation in the Trio with Denmark and Cyprus since 2008. This cooperation is continued if needed at the level of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the three states, and the respective Co-ordinators responsible for Presidency Preparations.
The meeting of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Denmark and the President of the Republic of Cypru constituted a crucial stage of the coordination of work. The meeting initiated by Prime Minister Donald Tusk took place on May 9, 2011 in Warsaw. The participants of the meeting confirmed the finalised programme of the 18-month Trio and emphasised that among the most important subjects common for the three Presidencies will be, among other things, the new EU budget, the issue of Northern Africa, the Eastern Partnership and the fight against unemployment and poverty.
The trilateral cooperation of Poland, Denmark and Cyprus is also being presented and developed at the level of the competent ministries, central offices, agencies and institutions, and in parliament (the Sejm and Senate).
Meetings at the level of Co-ordinators for Presidency Affairs:
- February 2008 - Copenhagen (Denmark)
- May 2008 - Warsaw (Poland)
- November 2009 - Nicosia (Cyprus)
- May 2009 - Warsaw (Poland)
- November 2009 - Brussels (Belgium)
- April 2010 - Ayia Napa (Cyprus)
- November 2010 - Brussels (Belgium)
- March 2011 – Brussels (Belgium)
- May 2011 – Nicosia (Cyprus)
Meetings at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs:
- May 2009 - Paphos (Cyprus)
- June 2010 - Tisvildeleje (Denmark)