The stamp on this maxi card and the card itself were issued on 1.7.1999 to celebrate Finland assuming the Presidency of the European Union from the 1st of July to the 31st of December 1999. Ella sent me this significant maxi card.
The Presidency of the Council of the European Union is the responsibility for the functioning of the Council of the European Union that rotates between the member states of the European Union (EU) every six months. The presidency is not a single president but rather the task is undertaken by a national government. It is also not the "Presidency of the EU" (although it is sometimes called that), as there is no such thing: each EU institution has its own President. Three successive Council presidencies, known as presidency trios, cooperate for an 18-month period to provide additional continuity by sharing common political programmes. The current (2011–2012) trio consists of Poland (which took up the position 1 July 2011), Denmark (which will take over in January 2012) and Cyprus (will take over in July 2012).