Schout, Adriaan (1998) The Presidency as Juggler: Managing Conflicting Expectations. EIPASCOPE, 1998 (2). pp. 1-9.
[From the Introduction]. Every six months the office of the presidency changes from one member state to another. This means that there are always three or four countries gearing themselves up for this prestigious position. The EU presidency is, however, a nebulous function so that this preparation has to be done carefully and has to be based on a profound understanding of the roles of the presidency....This paper discusses the roles of the presidency and what these roles mean in terms of capacities for managing EU affairs at national level. The arguments expounded here are, first of all, that preparation for presidency requires, in addition to the training seminars which member states already organize, an analysis of the capacities of administrations to combine substantive interests with generalist perspectives (defended by, for instance, Foreign Affairs ministries)....Section 2 sketches the specific position the chair has acquired during the European integration process and discusses the inherent conflict between neutrality, leadership and self-interests. Knowing the tasks of the presidency, the subsequent section can raise questions concerning the elements that determine effectiveness. The conflicting expectations, however, impose a need to look specifically at the management implications (Section 4). This section also makes a few remarks on the discussion about changing the presidency. Section 5 draws some conclusions and elaborates two interrelated lines of research.
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