The European Council was formed in 1974, and since 1986 its status has been officially enshrined in the Single European Act. It consists of the heads of state and government of the EU member states, as well as the chairman of the European Commission.
According to the regulations, the European Council meets twice a year, and actually four times a year (two meetings for each semi-annual presidency of a member country). During these meetings, the general situation and the most important political problems of the Union, as well as the state of the world economy and international relations are discussed, priority areas of activity are determined, programs and strategic decisions are made. If necessary, extraordinary meetings are also convened, usually devoted to one major issue requiring a political decision. Meetings are chaired by the head or prime minister of the state that presides over the Council for the past six months. The results of the discussions and the decisions taken are communicated to the public in the form of the relevant political conclusions of the presiding party (Presidency conclusions). Formally, this is a political document, which subsequently transforms into legal acts and decisions adopted by the relevant EU institutions.
Council of the EU (Council of Ministers) — (Council) — the highest legislative body of the EU.
- Functions. The Council has the right to make decisions, ensures coordination of the general economic policy of the member states, exercises overall budget management (together with the Parliament), concludes international agreements. Consists of representatives of EU member states in the rank of ministers of national governments. In fact, there are more than 25 different industry Councils.
- Organizational structure. The preparation of Council sessions is carried out in Brussels by the Committee of Permanent Representatives of States — COREPER, consisting of the heads of national delegations to the Community. COREPER holds a preliminary discussion of issues submitted to the Council, which ensures the continuity of the functioning of the latter. The General Secretariat, also based in Brussels, prepares Council decisions and monitors their implementation.