Handover of the EU Presidency of the Council from Spain to Belgium


On 19th December, Ms Elena Manzanera, President of INE Spain, handed over the Presidency “baton” to Mr. Olivier Goddeeris, who will take over the chairmanship of the Council Working Party on Statistics in representation of the Belgium Presidency of the EU Council.

From 1st January 2024, the Council Working Party on Statistics will be chaired by the Belgian Statistical Office (Statbel). The official handover of the Presidency from Spain to Belgium took place in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid), which brought together the representatives from the current Presidency Trio (Spain-Belgium-Hungary) as well as a representative from the previous Presidency (Sweden).

At the meeting, the Swedish and Spanish Presidencies presented the main outcomes from their mandates and some lessons learned from their experiences.

In particular the President of INE-Spain highlighted that many hours had been spent on preparing the meetings of the Council Working Party on Statistics, the trilogies, the inter-institutional technical meetings, also drafting proposals, reaching compromises, and travelling to Brussels and Strasbourg, under the pressure of the tight deadlines. But INE-Spain is really pleased for the great work done and the outcomes achieved, in particular for getting the general approach at COREPER for Regulation 223. It was the main priority for the Spanish Presidency due to the relevance of this dossier and the need to take advantage of the opportunity.

There has also been important progress under the Spanish Presidency on the proposal for Regulation on European statistics on population and housing and the proposal for amending Regulation No 691/2011 as regards introducing new environmental economic accounts modules.

The upcoming Presidencies of Belgium and Hungary presented their plans, which are in line with the Programme of the Presidency Trio, and Eurostat gave some words on the collaboration with current Presidency and presented the plans for future proposals foreseen.

The transfer of the mandate from the current to the upcoming Presidency was symbolized by the handover of a baton which represents the continuity in the leadership of such an important institution.