Chairmanship of the Contact Committee


The Contact Committee meets every year. The host and the chair for each Contact Committee meeting is selected by agreement of the Contact Committee at least two years in advance. The Chair of the Contact Committee (Chair) is the Head of the SAI responsible for preparing and chairing the Contact Committee meeting. The Chair assumes his/her office at the end of the previous Contact Committee meeting and holds it until the end of the following Contact Committee meeting. At the end of this meeting he/she hands over this role to the next Chair.

President of SAI SR Karol Mitrík took over the Contact Committee of the Heads of SAIs and ECA´s Chair for 2016 from the Auditor General of Latvia Elita Krumina  at the Contact Committee meeting in Riga in June 2015

President of SAI SR Karol Mitrík took over the Contact Committee of the Heads of SAIs and ECA´s Chair for 2016 from the Auditor General of Latvia Elita Krumina at the Contact Committee meeting in Riga in June 2015. 








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About Council of the European Union

The Council of the EU represents the member states' governments. Also known informally as the EU Council, it is where national ministers from each EU country meet to adopt laws and coordinate policies. The presidency of the Council rotates among the EU member states every 6 months. During this 6-month period, the presidency chairs meetings at every level in the Council, helping to ensure the continuity of the EU's work in the Council.

Member states holding the presidency work together closely in groups of three, called 'trios'. This system was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The trio sets long-term goals and prepares a common agenda determining the topics and major issues that will be addressed by the Council over an 18 month period. On the basis of this programme, each of the three countries prepares its own more detailed 6-month programme.

The tasks of the presidency

1. Planning and chairing meetings in the Council and its preparatory bodies

The presidency chairs meetings of the different Council configurations (with the exception of the Foreign Affairs Council) and the Council's preparatory bodies, which include permanent committees such as the Permanent Representatives Committee (Career), and working parties and committees dealing with very specific subjects.

The presidency ensures that discussions are conducted properly and that the Council's rules of procedure and working methods are correctly applied. It also organises various formal and informal meetings in Brussels and in the country of the rotating presidency.

2. Representing the Council in relations with the other EU institutions

The presidency represents the Council in relations with the other EU institutions, particularly with the Commission and the European Parliament. Its role is to try and reach agreement on legislative files through trilogues, informal negotiation meetings and Conciliation Committee meetings.

The presidency works in close coordination with:

  • the President of the European Council
  • the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

It supports their work and may sometimes be requested to perform certain duties for the high representative, such as representing the Foreign Affairs Council before the European Parliament or chairing the Foreign Affairs Council when it discusses common commercial policy issues.

The Netherlands presidency of the Council of the EU 2016

The Netherlands presidency work programme focuses on four key areas:

  • migration and international security, 
  • Europe as an innovator and job creator
  • sound finances and a robust Eurozone, 
  • forward-looking climate and energy policy.

1. migration and international security

Extra focus is needed on the approach to migration and international security, in view of the fundamental changes over the past five years in the EU’s immediate vicinity. Internal and external security are inextricably linked. The increased influx of people seeking a safe haven makes it abundantly clear that a common border, asylum and migration policy is needed. The migration crisis has revealed various shortcomings in the European area of freedom, security and justice that require action. The current priority is to control Europe’s external borders effectively, improve the initial reception of refugees in Europe and in the region, and share the burden fairly. The countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey are also being severely affected by the current migration crisis. More regional collaboration is needed with these candidate member states and potential candidate member states to face up to this challenge.

2. Europe as an innovator and job creator

Under the pressure of the crisis, the EU has lost sight of its role as an innovator and creator of jobs in Europe, despite the fact that it has good prospects of creating a stable and innovative socioeconomic context for its citizens. Its key strength in that respect is the single market, which is the largest in the world and – as the driving force behind European cooperation – unites the member states. Now that Europe’s economy is picking up, it is the collective responsibility of the Council and its members, the Commission and the European Parliament to maintain that upward trend. Creating structural, innovative growth and jobs therefore remains the second key priority in the Union.

3. Sound, future-proof European finances and a robust eurozone

The third priority concerns the Presidency’s focus on sound, future-proof European finances and a robust eurozone. After a deep crisis, recovery has now set in. Structural reforms and sound fiscal policy are bearing fruit and many member states are gradually finding their way to economic recovery and rising employment. This growth is bolstered by the improved global conditions, including low oil prices and the boosting of investment through measures such as the EFSI. Nevertheless, stagnating growth in emerging markets poses a risk to this positive trend. Putting member states back on the road to structural economic growth and maintaining stability in the EMU will require constant attention. The EU member states must therefore press ahead with structural reforms and coordinated economic policy. In this way we can guarantee healthy public finances in modern economies. Agreements made within the EMU must be complied with, so that we can work towards a strong Eurozone for public authorities, businesses and citizens alike. The importance of sound European finances also extends to the European multian­nual budget. The Netherlands will therefore launch initiatives to start a debate on a new and reformed multiannual budget.

4. Forward-looking policy on climate and energy

As a fourth priority, the Netherlands will emphasise the close cohesion among the issues of climate change, energy, the environment and sustainability. Economic goals and the responsible use of natural resources and energy can be brought together in a future-proof model for sustainable growth. The EU can boost this approach by stimulating innovative sectors that contribute to a transition to a circular economy that uses natural resources sustainably. This ties it in with the Commission proposal on a circular economy and its intention to present a proposal for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the EU and beyond. The Netherlands will press strongly for the further develop­ment of a European Energy Union: strengthening the energy supply, creating an internal energy market, making the EU less energy-dependent, boosting research and innovation in the area of renewable energy, and setting out a future-proof climate policy. The Paris Agreement that was reached at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 12 December 2015 will form an important point of departure for these efforts.

For more on Netherlands presidency of the EU council see

The Slovak presidency of the Council of the EU 2016

For more on Slovak presidency of the EU council see

Rotation of the Council of the EU (.PDF / 183kB)

Acting CC Chair Role (.PDF / 51kB)

Invitation to CC Meating 2016 (.PDF / 2,8MB)