New Trio Council Presidency

On 1 July 2023, the new trio Presidency of Council of the EU, composed of Spain, Belgium, and Hungary, started its 18-month term. Spain began the Presidency on 1 July 2023 (→ related link); Belgium and Hungary will hold the subsequent Presidencies in 2024.

The trio adopted a joint programme outlining common priorities. It is committed to contributing to the enhancement of the EU’s resilience and strategic autonomy, for instance, by strengthening its industrial base in line with the accelerated twin green and digital transitions and by capitalizing on innovation to reinforce the EU’s global competitiveness. Furthermore, the trio plans to ensure that the twin transitions are fair, just, and inclusive to enhance Europe's social dimension, especially by addressing the demographic challenges the EU is facing. Another priority is to strengthen international partnerships, multilateral cooperation, and security in all its dimensions. A further objective is to develop an ambitious and balanced trade policy, while at the same time defending EU interests more assertively - based on its values -, and to strengthen the EU's capability to act in the field of security and defence.

In the area of protecting citizens and freedoms, the trio will focus on reinforcing the rule of law; on reforming the European Asylum System, the Pact on Migration and Asylum, and the external dimension of migration; and on ensuring the functioning and resilience of the Schengen area. Judicial cooperation and the digitalisation of justice are also priorities, along with streamlining the EU’s crisis management structures, implementing the EU's cybersecurity strategy, and achieving greater strategic autonomy in digital technologies.

Looking at criminal matters, the trio will step up efforts to counter serious cross-border organised crime, terrorism, and violent extremism, including the fight against smuggling of/trafficking in human beings, arms smuggling, and funding for extremist purposes. The prevention of terrorism and providing aid to victims of terrorism are also high on the agenda. A special focus will be placed on combating child sexual abuse, violence against women and gender-based violence, hate speech and hate crimes, racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance.

News Guide

EU Area of Freedom, Security and Justice Council


Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section