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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.

'This is Europe' – an initiative proposed by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola – consists of a series of debates with EU leaders to discuss their visions for the future of the European Union. On 22 June, the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenković, was the third EU leader to address the Parliament since its Conference of Presidents endorsed the initiative on 28 April. Mr Plenković considered Croatia to be at the centre of EU integration and expressed his support for more ...

'This is Europe' – an initiative proposed by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola – consists of a series of debates with EU leaders to discuss their visions for the future of the European Union. Following the first speech in this series by the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, on 3 May 2022, the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Micheál Martin, was the second EU leader to address the Parliament, on 8 June.1 Mr Martin suggested numerous ways to strengthen and further develop ...

This comparative study - commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs - analyses the effectiveness of relevant rules, policies and practices within Member States regarding conflict of interest for top political appointment (Head of Government, Ministers and other high ranking officials). The research highlights the theoretical and practical aspects of the notion of conflict of interest, giving some policy recommendations

The main issues on the agenda of the European Council are climate change and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). EU leaders will also address the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe, with the aim of developing a joint position of Member States on the initiative. In addition, the European Council (Article 50) meeting is expected to discuss the result of the general election in the UK (taking place on 12 December) and the likely consequences for the Brexit process, as well as preparations ...

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 ...

As the 2019 European elections approach, the 'Future of Europe debates' are coming to their natural conclusion. This April II session is the last plenary session at which one of the Heads of State or Government will set out their vision of the future path that Europe should follow. This initiative has been meant to provide the occasion to reflect deeply on how to shape the future of the EU and its institutions, as a concrete contribution to the Sibiu Summit taking place on 9 May 2019. The series ...

As the 2019 European elections approach, deep reflections on how to shape the future of the EU are taking on greater prominence. The 'Future of Europe' debates, an initiative of the European Parliament, aim to make a tangible contribution to the broader discussion on how to reform EU policies and institutions. The series of debates started with the invitation of the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, who announced at the European Council in October 2017 the intention to host debates ...

Against the background of the many challenges faced by the European Union (EU) in recent years, and with the May 2019 European Parliament elections approaching, the future of the European project has come back on the agenda of public discourse. At the European Council of October 2017, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, announced his intention to host a series of Future of Europe debates during plenary sessions, as a democratic and open forum in which the Heads of State or Government ...

The European Council brings together the Heads of State or Government of the 28 EU Member States, and seeks to set the overall direction and priorities of the European Union. This Briefing provides some of the main facts and figures on different aspects of this key institution, detailing its membership, political make-up over time, historical development and roles, as well as the main topics on its agenda, and the number and format of its meetings