In the context of Article 204 TEC (Article 237 TFEU) and based on the programming, the Council’s Rules of Procedure foresee the establishment of indicative provisional agendas by the incoming Council Presidency for the next six months.
5. The incoming Presidency shall establish indicative provisional agendas for Council meetings scheduled for the next six-month period, showing the legislative work and operational decisions envisaged. These indicative provisional agendas shall be established at the latest one week before the beginning of its term of office, on the basis of the Council's 18-month programme and after consulting the Commission. Where necessary, extra Council meetings may be provided for, in addition to those previously planned.
Similar indicative provisional agendas for Council meetings scheduled for the six-month period following that referred to in the first subparagraph shall be established by the Presidency concerned, after consulting the Commission and the next Presidency, at the latest one week before the beginning of its term of office.
If during a six-month period any of the meetings planned during that period proves to be no longer warranted, the Presidency shall not convene it.
Although the Council’s Rules of Procedure offer possibilities for exceptional circumstances and emergencies, we can see that the backbone is fairly rigid. The main themes are usually known well in advance.
In practice, different Council formations (configurations) often meet on almost the exact days of their meetings during the preceding year.
Various committees, Coreper and governments’ internal coordination, as well as parliamentary scrutiny, work within an established framework with general timetables known well in advance.
But the agenda becomes more precise closer to the meeting.