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The European Council's role in the EU policy cycle

02-09-2019

Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Heads of State or Government of EU Member States, has wielded considerable influence over the development of the European Union. According to the Treaties, the European Council's primary role is to 'define the general political directions and priorities' (Article 15(1) of the Treaty on European Union). This role has rapidly evolved over the ...

Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Heads of State or Government of EU Member States, has wielded considerable influence over the development of the European Union. According to the Treaties, the European Council's primary role is to 'define the general political directions and priorities' (Article 15(1) of the Treaty on European Union). This role has rapidly evolved over the past decade, and today the European Council's involvement in the EU policy cycle is much broader, covering tasks from agenda-setting to exercising scrutiny. In practice, its activities often exceed the role envisaged in the Treaties. This level of involvement has a significant impact both on the role of the other EU institutions within the policy cycle and the functioning of the ordinary legislative procedure.

Outcome of the special European Council meeting of 30 June-2 July

03-07-2019

The special European Council agreed on a package of EU high-level appointments including, the German Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen (Germany) as candidate for the office of European Commission President. The Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles MIchel, was elected as incumbent European Council President. Josep Borrell (Spain) was nominated for High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Christine Lagarde (France) for President of the European Central Bank.

The special European Council agreed on a package of EU high-level appointments including, the German Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen (Germany) as candidate for the office of European Commission President. The Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles MIchel, was elected as incumbent European Council President. Josep Borrell (Spain) was nominated for High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Christine Lagarde (France) for President of the European Central Bank.

Outcome of the European Council and Euro Summit, 20-21 June 2019

26-06-2019

At their most recent meeting, EU Heads of State or Government postponed decisions on nominating a set of high-level EU appointments, including the position of President of the European Commission. EU leaders will now reconvene for a special meeting of the European Council on 30 June, with the aim of reaching an agreement on a package of candidates. On climate policy, the European Council did not achieve consensus on ensuring climate neutrality by 2050 either. Conversely, it adopted the strategic ...

At their most recent meeting, EU Heads of State or Government postponed decisions on nominating a set of high-level EU appointments, including the position of President of the European Commission. EU leaders will now reconvene for a special meeting of the European Council on 30 June, with the aim of reaching an agreement on a package of candidates. On climate policy, the European Council did not achieve consensus on ensuring climate neutrality by 2050 either. Conversely, it adopted the strategic agenda for 2019-24, setting four priority areas that will guide the work of the EU institutions over the next five years. EU leaders also discussed a wide range of external relations issues, including the situation in eastern Ukraine and the Azov Sea, and reconfirmed economic sanctions on Russia.

Key issues in the European Council

20-06-2019

The European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) monitors and analyses the activities, commitments and impact of the European Council, so as to maximize parliamentary understanding of the political dynamics of this important institution. This new EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which will be updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues ...

The European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) monitors and analyses the activities, commitments and impact of the European Council, so as to maximize parliamentary understanding of the political dynamics of this important institution. This new EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', which will be updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues. It analyses nine policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement to date and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

Outlook for the European Council and Euro Summit meetings, 20-21 June 2019

19-06-2019

The June 2019 European Council will discuss, and potentially agree on, high-level appointments to EU institutions and adopt the 2019-2024 strategic agenda. Other agenda topics are the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU’s common climate ambition, disinformation, enlargement and foreign policy issues, including relations with Russia. EU-27 leaders will meet for a Euro Summit in extended format to discuss the report submitted by the Eurogroup on EMU reforms.

The June 2019 European Council will discuss, and potentially agree on, high-level appointments to EU institutions and adopt the 2019-2024 strategic agenda. Other agenda topics are the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU’s common climate ambition, disinformation, enlargement and foreign policy issues, including relations with Russia. EU-27 leaders will meet for a Euro Summit in extended format to discuss the report submitted by the Eurogroup on EMU reforms.

European Council conclusions - A rolling check-list of commitments to date

14-06-2019

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of ...

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings. This overview of European Council conclusions is a new, updated and more comprehensive edition of the Rolling Check-List, which has been published regularly by the European Council Oversight Unit since 2014. It distinguishes between four types of European Council conclusions (commitments, reviews, endorsements and statements) and indicates the follow-up given to calls for action made by EU leaders. It also offers an introductory analysis of each policy area, highlighting the background to the main orientations given by the European Council, as well as the follow-up to them and the future challenges.

Outcome of the informal meeting of EU-27 leaders on 9 May 2019 in Sibiu

13-05-2019

EU-27 Heads of State or Government met on 9 May 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu, to discuss the Union’s common future. They adopted the Sibiu Declaration, recalling the achievements and values of the European Union. EU leaders reaffirmed their unity, and recognised the role they have to play to make the EU stronger and the future brighter. They also discussed the forthcoming Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024, which will outline policy priorities for the next five years. The European Council President ...

EU-27 Heads of State or Government met on 9 May 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu, to discuss the Union’s common future. They adopted the Sibiu Declaration, recalling the achievements and values of the European Union. EU leaders reaffirmed their unity, and recognised the role they have to play to make the EU stronger and the future brighter. They also discussed the forthcoming Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024, which will outline policy priorities for the next five years. The European Council President, Donald Tusk, suggested a process for the forthcoming appointments to a set of high-level EU positions, and called a special summit for 28 May.

The Future of Europe debates in the European Parliament, 2018-19: A synthesis of the speeches by EU Heads of State or Government

08-05-2019

This paper concludes a series of four briefings on the Future of Europe debates that have explained the views of the different Heads of State or Government who have spoken in the European Parliament's plenary sessions from January 2018 until April 2019. The first part of this paper describes the overall points of convergence and divergence among the speakers, trends in the topics tackled, and proposals advanced. In the second part, the paper offers excerpts from some of the most significant statements ...

This paper concludes a series of four briefings on the Future of Europe debates that have explained the views of the different Heads of State or Government who have spoken in the European Parliament's plenary sessions from January 2018 until April 2019. The first part of this paper describes the overall points of convergence and divergence among the speakers, trends in the topics tackled, and proposals advanced. In the second part, the paper offers excerpts from some of the most significant statements by the speakers, as well as a more detailed analysis of their various positions on the following key policy areas: Economic and Monetary Union, migration, the social dimension, international trade, climate change and energy, security and defence, the next Multiannual Financial Framework, and institutional issues.

Assessing the Leaders’ Agenda

06-05-2019

The Leaders' Agenda can be assessed rather favourably as it has enabled more structured work and better preparation by all actors concerned. This method can be recommended for the future work of the European Council as it allows a consistent follow-up. However, it has not helped to overcome deadlock on some of the most sensitive issues, such as migration and taxation.

The Leaders' Agenda can be assessed rather favourably as it has enabled more structured work and better preparation by all actors concerned. This method can be recommended for the future work of the European Council as it allows a consistent follow-up. However, it has not helped to overcome deadlock on some of the most sensitive issues, such as migration and taxation.

Outcome of the Special European Council (Article 50) meeting, 10 April 2019

12-04-2019

At the special European Council (Article 50) meeting on 10 April 2019, Heads of State or Government agreed to further extend the Article 50 period until 31 October 2019 at the latest. This goes beyond the request made by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May (30 June 2019), but represents only half the time period some European Council members had been seeking to offer. The compromise found, which maintains unity amongst the EU-27, is esigned to reduce as much as possible the disruptive effects of the ...

At the special European Council (Article 50) meeting on 10 April 2019, Heads of State or Government agreed to further extend the Article 50 period until 31 October 2019 at the latest. This goes beyond the request made by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May (30 June 2019), but represents only half the time period some European Council members had been seeking to offer. The compromise found, which maintains unity amongst the EU-27, is esigned to reduce as much as possible the disruptive effects of the Brexit negotiations on EU affairs at the start of the new institutional cycle. With the longer extension period – and if the Withdrawal Agreement, is not ratified by 22 May – the UK will be required to organise European elections. The decision excludes any reopening of the Withdrawal Agreement.

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