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The European Council brings together the Heads of State or Government of the 27 EU Member States in regular 'summit' meetings which seek to define the overall political direction and priorities of the European Union. This Briefing offers a selection of key facts and figures about this institution, detailing its membership, role, work and development over time.

The European Council consists of the 27 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began. This publication is updated periodically to reflect changes in the European Council's ...

On 23 June 2022, for the first time since the start of Russia's war on Ukraine, the Heads of State or Government of the EU and of the six Western Balkan countries will meet for a leaders' meeting in Brussels. The discussion will focus on enlargement, energy, security and defence, and youth. Discussion of Emmanuel Macron's 'European Political Community' proposal is not on the agenda, but it could come up during the debate.

A series of sensitive topics feature on the agenda of the last regular European Council meeting before the summer break, taking place on 23-24 June. Considering the magnitude of the issues at stake, this European Council meeting – if successful – could become a milestone summit. Notably, EU leaders are expected to consider granting candidate country status to Ukraine and Moldova, most probably with certain specific conditions, to reaffirm the Western Balkans' European perspective, and to consider ...

On 30 and 31 May 2022, EU Heads of State or Government will meet for the fourth time since the outbreak of Russia’s war on Ukraine, to discuss developments in and support for the invaded country. Three other inter-connected topics - security and defence, energy and food security - will also be on the agenda. EU leaders are expected to take stock of the defence investment gaps analysis presented by the European Commission and the High Representative/Vice President of the Commission (HR/VP), Josep ...

EU officials say that the 23rd summit between the European Union and China on Friday 1 April will focus on Russia’s war on Ukraine, the engagement of the international community to support Ukraine, the dramatic humanitarian crisis created by the conflict, its destabilising nature for the international order and its inherent global impact. The meeting, to be conducted by video-conference, is also expected to discuss bilateral issues and areas of shared interest, such as climate change, biodiversity ...

Russia's war on Ukraine and the linked issue of energy security constituted the clear focus of the European Council meeting held on 24 25 March 2022. The meeting included a joint session with the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, and it formed part of a trilogy of summit meetings in Brussels (NATO, G7 and EU) demonstrating Western unity in support of Ukraine and in response to President Vladimir Putin's unacceptable violation of international law. The main outcomes of the meeting ...

On 24-25 March 2022, EU Heads of State or Government will meet for the third time in five weeks. In the presence of the United States President, Joe Biden, they will discuss developments in and support for Ukraine, in the context of the unprovoked Russian invasion of the country. Building on their Versailles Declaration of 10-11 March, EU leaders will take further steps aimed at strengthening European sovereignty in the field of security, defence and energy security. As regards security and defence ...

On 17-18 February 2022, EU Heads of State or Government met for an informal European Council to discuss the Russia-Ukraine crisis and for a summit with African Union (AU) leaders with the aim to renew the existing partnership.

The culmination of two years' preparatory work and worldwide mobilisation events, the United Nations Food Systems Summit took place on 23 September 2021. The idea behind the summit, initiated by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, was to start a process of transforming the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about food – as a crucial step in progressing on all 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). The summit was announced in October 2019 – before the Covid 19 pandemic became ...