By the end of December 2002, the Czech EU Council presidency came to an end. Czechia was holding the rotating Council presidency for the second time and like in 2009 its presidency trio was rounded out by the preceding French presidency and the following Swedish one. The key difference between the two Czech presidencies was the changed institutional context. While the 2009 presidency took place on the verge of the entrance into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the Treaty nevertheless only came into effect in December 2009, a couple months after the Czechs passed the presidency baton to the Swedes. The 2022 Czech presidency was thus the first that the country held under the Lisbon rules. These rules curtailed the role of the rotating presidency in terms of presiding over the European Council as well as the Foreign Affairs Council. Most importantly, the practicalities of the Czech presidency were affected by the suddenly changed international context following the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Czech presidency as well as the presidency trio had to revise their priorities and the entire EU was primarily focused on the war in Ukraine and its consequences. This special forum containing seven articles provides an early analysis that engages the existing scholarly literature on the performance of Czechia at the helm of the EU.
Czechia, Council of the EU, Rotating presidency, assessment, Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), Energy crisis, rule of law