Judging presidencies is easy, evaluating them is not. Evaluations are rare and often superficial. This article provides a theoretical framework for such evaluations. Using contingency theory, it develops hypotheses about the demand for, and supply of, presidency roles. It offers a structured analysis by linking behaviour to the specificities of the actual negotiations. The framework is then applied to the performance of the French presidency during the IGC in 2000. The analysis shows, that apart from the complaints relating to some embarrassing failures, not all the criticism levelled at the French was justified.