Greece, seen by many as the epicentre of the eurozone debt crisis, assumes the rotating EU presidency for the first half of 2014.
Athens will become a high-profile EU host city. Greece has said its budget for holding the presidency will be the lowest in the history of the bloc-wide role.
The country is battling a financial crisis and struggling to strengthen its battered economy.
Greece has been kept financially afloat by the international troika of lenders: the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
But years of recession, huge unemployment and tough austerity measures have left many Greeks frustrated at their government – as well as disenchanted with the EU.