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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 ...

The regular European Council meeting of 24-25 June 2021 was noteworthy on several fronts. First, there was an extensive discussion on the rule of law and European values, a topic rarely discussed at the level of EU leaders. It took place in the context of a new Hungarian law on child protection, which includes provisions considered by many as discriminatory against LGBTQI+ people. Second, following a Franco-German proposal, there was an intense debate about the EU approach to relations with Russia ...

Turkey has featured regularly on the agenda of the European Council in recent years, notably in the context of the migration crisis and military operations in Syria, and as a result of an increasingly tense situation in the eastern Mediterranean, which led to a significant military build-up at sea during the summer of 2020. In all these cases, the European Council (re)acted swiftly, ensuring that the views of the Member States were taken into consideration. In the migration crisis, it stepped up ...

At its meeting on 24-25 June 2021, the European Council will pursue its coordination efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic, discuss the situation on the various migration routes, return to the strategic debate on relations with Russia, revert to their discussions on Turkey and assess progress in the EU’s economic recovery. In the Euro summit, EU leaders will discuss the economic challenges for the euro area in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis and review progress on the banking union ...

Following the forced landing of a Ryanair flight by Belarusian authorities on 23 May, Belarus became the central topic on the first day of the special European Council meeting of 24-25 May 2021. EU leaders strongly condemned the 'unprecedented and unacceptable incident', and were united in imposing further sanctions on Belarus. As regards Russia, the European Council reconfirmed the five principles guiding the EU's policy since 2016 and asked the High Representative and the European Commission to ...

To assess the role of the European Council in the process of the adoption of the multiannual financial framework and its evolution over time, this paper provides a comparative analysis of the similarities and differences between the European Council's involvement in the 2014‑2020 and 2021‑2027 MFF negotiations. An additional content analysis of EU leaders' Twitter communication on the MFF focuses in particular on key moments in the European Council's decision-making process.  The 2021‑2027 MFF negotiations ...

On 26 February 2021, EU leaders met for a second videoconference session to discuss security and defence and the southern neighbourhood. They reaffirmed their commitment to implement the 2019-2024 Strategic Agenda by increasing the EU's ability to act autonomously and strengthening its resilience by taking 'more responsibility for its security'. They also expressed their wish to deepen the transatlantic bond with the US and through NATO. In line with past meetings dedicated to security and defence ...

For the tenth time since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, the European Council met by video-conference, however this time in two separate sessions. The first, on 25 February, dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and ways of increasing the EU’s health resilience, is covered in this paper, while the second, the following morning, addressed security and defence as well as the southern neighbourhood, and is covered by a separate paper. Regarding the pandemic, EU leaders called for acceleration ...

Over recent years, the members of the European Council have, in a number of landmark declarations such as the Bratislava Declaration, pointed to the need to improve communication with citizens, as part of the process of building greater trust and confidence in the European Union and its institutions. As social media, and notably Twitter, have become an important part of politicians' communication strategy generally, this study looks specifically at how EU leaders in the European Council communicate ...

On Thursday 10 and Friday 11 December 2020, the European Council agreed on clarifications to the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism, which pave the way for the adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework and the Next Generation EU recovery fund. The language used by EU leaders in their conclusions satisfied all actors involved, and avoided triggering renegotiation of the compromise reached between the co-legislators on the proposed regulation on rule-of-law conditionality. EU leaders also achieved ...