This study compares the role of the Council presidency before and after Lisbon focusing on the continuity of the legislative work of the Council, which was a major concern in the discussions leading to the Lisbon Treaty. The Lisbon Treaty established an elected presidency to head the European Council for a period of up to five years. In addition, 18-month programmes should facilitate smooth proceedings in the Council. The presidency of the Council, however, continues to rotate every six months between member states at the ministerial and working group level where the bulk of the legislative work takes place. Discontinuity of leadership in negotiations decreases their efficiency. Different priorities of the changing chairmen can be disruptive and lead to major delay. The hybrid solution of the Lisbon Treaty falls short of an institutional design that would have put a premium on continuity in the legislative work of the Council.