Page "Council of the European Union" Paragraph 16
The Presidency of the Council is not a single post, but is held by a member state's government ( Denmark for the first half of 2012 ).
Every six months the presidency rotates between the states, in an order predefined by the Council's members, allowing each state to preside over the body.
From 2007, every three-member states cooperate for their combined eighteen months on a common agenda, although only one formally holds the presidency for the normal six-month period.
For example the President for the second half of 2007, Portugal, was the second in a trio of states alongside Germany and Slovenia with whom Portugal had been co-operating.
The Council meets in various configurations ( as outlined below ) so its membership changes depending upon the issue.
A delegate from the following Presidency also assists the presiding member and may take over work if requested.
The exception however is the foreign affairs council, which has been chaired by the High Representative since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.