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On 6 January 2012, Denmark began its Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first half of 2012. It is the seventh time Denmark holds the EU Presidency since joining the European Community in 1973 and Denmark has assumed the Presidency at a time when the EU is facing its perhaps greatest challenges ever.

Denmark is part of the trio presidencies – together with Poland and Cyprus – with the three presidencies working together to ensure a high degree of coordination and consistency. The three Member States agree on a common trio program for the 18 month period from the 1st of July 2011 to the 31st of December 2012 and Denmark will hold the Presidency until 1 July 2012 when the Cypriots will take over.

The main task for the Danish Presidency will be to bring together and strengthen the EU through concrete results that will bring the EU forward and prove the value and necessity of European cooperation to citizens of Europe through four fundamental priorities:  a more responsible, dynamic, green and safe Europe.

Concerning the Danish health priorities, the presidency will focus increased attention to protecting people from health threats and diseases, promoting healthy lifestyles and helping national authorities in the EU cooperate on health issues (such as eHealth and HTA). Denmark has made innovation in health a key priority and intendes to ensure this aspect is reflected all of its health priorities.

Denmark will be responsible for overseeing various EU dossiers such as Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR), the Health for Growth Programme (2014-2020), the Transparency Directive and the Health Treats Package will represent a big part of Denmark’s working programme. As regards the issue of AMR, Denmark will aim to adopt Council Conclusions in June 2012 on death prevention due to AMR.

Amendments to the Tobacco Directive, the review of the Medical Devices Directive and the management of chronic diseases will be also on the 2012 Danish Agenda subject to the timing of proposals by the European Commission.