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'This is Europe' – an initiative proposed by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola – consists of a series of debates with EU Heads of State or Government to discuss their visions for the future of the European Union. Following an earlier speech to the Parliament in this context by the Estonian Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, on 3 May 2022, the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, was the first EU leader to address the Parliament after the latter's Conference of Presidents had endorsed ...

The role of the European political parties, often under-estimated in the past, has increased significantly over the years. Today, they are important coordinators within the EU political system, carrying out a variety of activities that can be classified conceptually as ‘vertical’, ‘horizontal’ and ‘diagonal’ coordination. This EPRS study explores the growing 'politicisation' of the European Council and the increased coordination role which European political parties appear to play in the context ...

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 ...

Charles Michel's (first) term as European Council President comes to an end on 30 May 2022. In advance of his potential re-election by EU Heads of State or Government to that function, this paper looks at his activities during the course of his 30-month mandate to date, with a special focus on the institutional and inter-institutional dimension of his role. In practice, the coronavirus pandemic has dictated the agenda of the European Council from almost the beginning of Mr Michel's time in office ...

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 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 ...

The first term of Charles Michel, the incumbent European Council President comes to an end on 31 May 2022. Based on previous examples, the (re-)election of the European Council President for the period July 2022 to November 2024 is expected to be taken at the last formal European Council meeting before the end of the current mandate. This briefing provides answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions regarding the office of European Council President, notably the role of the position and ...

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 the latest edition of the Rolling Check-List, which has been published regularly by the European Council Oversight Unit since 2014. It is designed to ...

'The European Council will revert to the issue' or 'reiterates' its view, were probably the most used sentences in the conclusions issued following the 16 December 2021 meeting of the Heads of State or Government. For many of the issues on the agenda, such as energy, where the geopolitical stakes are high, differences in position remain in the European Council; achieving consensus is therefore part of a longer process. On security and defence, no big decisions, but specific guidelines and targeted ...

The role of the European Council is to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities'. Since its creation in 1975, the European Council has exercised considerable influence over the development of the European Union, a process enhanced by its designation as a formal institution of the Union under the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS ...