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European Council

The Council of the European Union (also called the “Council” and sometimes referred to as the “Council of Ministers”) forms the other half of the EU’s legislature. It consists of a government minister from each member state and meets in different compositions depending on the policy area being addressed. Notwithstanding its different configurations, it is considered to be one single body. In addition to its legislative functions, the Council also exercises executive functions in relations to the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

  • summit of the Heads of Government, chaired by the President of the European Council)
  • gives the necessary impetus for the development and sets out general objectives and priorities
  • will not legislate
  • based in Brussels

 

While the European Council has no formal legislative power, it is a strategic (and crisis-solving) body that provides the union with general political directions and priorities, and acts as a collective presidency. The European Commission remains the sole initiator of legislation, but the European Council is able to provide an impetus to guide legislative policy.

The meetings of the European Council, still commonly referred to as EU summits, are chaired by its president and take place at least twice every six months; usually in the Justus Lipsius building, the headquarters of the Council of the European Union in Brussels. Decisions of the European Council are taken by a simple majority consensus, except where the Treaties provide otherwise.

 

 

The states of the European Union by the European party affiliations of their leaders, as of 12 May 2015
Does not account for coalitions. Key to colours is as follows;

Representative Picture Member State Title Political party Member since Elections % population
Donald Tusk 2014 - Donald Tusk (1).jpg European Union President
Non voting position
President European People’s Party
National: Civic Platform of the Republic of Poland (PO)
1 December 2014
(Prime Minister of Poland:
2007–2014)
0.0%
Jean-Claude Juncker Ioannes Claudius Juncker die 7 Martis 2014.jpg European Union Commission
Non voting representation
President European People’s Party
National: Christian Social People’s Party (CSV)
1 November 2014
(Prime Minister of Luxembourg:
1995–2013)
2014 2019 0.0%
Werner Faymann Werner Faymann 2014 (cropped).jpg  Austria Federal Chancellor Party of European Socialists
National: Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ)
2 December 2008 2013 2018? 1.68%
Charles Michel Charles Michel (politician).jpg  Belgium First Minister /
Prime Minister
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party
National: Reformist Movement (MR)
11 October 2014 2014 2019? 2.21%
Boyko Borisov
Cyrillic script: Бойко Борисов
BBorisov EPP Summit March 2011.jpg  Bulgaria Minister-Chairman European People’s Party
National: GERB (ГЕРБ)
7 November 2014
(also in office:
2009–2013)
2014 2018? 1.43%
Zoran Milanović Milanović.jpg  Croatia President of the Government Party of European Socialists
National: Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP)
1 July 2013
(in office since 23 December 2011; note that Croatia has been a member state of the EU from 1st of July 2013)
2011 2016? 0.84%
Nicos Anastasiades
Greek script: Νίκος Αναστασιάδης
Nicos Anastasiades at EPP HQ.jpg  Cyprus President European People’s Party
National: Democratic Rally (ΔΗ.ΣΥ.)
28 February 2013 2013 2018? 0.17%
Bohuslav Sobotka Bohuslav Sobotka 2014-03-05.jpg  Czech Republic Chairman of the Government Party of European Socialists
National: Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD)
29 January 2014 2013 2017? 2.05%
Helle Thorning-Schmidt Thorning-Schmidt.jpg  Denmark Minister of State Party of European Socialists
National: Social Democrats (A)
3 October 2011 2011 2015 1.11%
Taavi Rõivas RE Taavi Rõivas.jpg  Estonia Head Minister Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party
National: Estonian Reform Party (RE)
26 March 2014 2015 2019? 0.26%
Alexander Stubb Alexander Stubb Oct, 2014.jpg  Finland Head Minister / Minister of the State European People’s Party
National: National Coalition Party (Kok. / Saml)
24 June 2014 2015 2019? 1.07%
François Hollande V.Dombrovskis tiekas ar Francijas prezidentu (8662374471)-crop.jpg  France President Party of European Socialists
National: Socialist Party (PS)
15 May 2012 2012 2017? 13.02%
Angela Merkel
née Kasner
Angela Merkel (August 2012) cropped.jpg  Germany Federal Chancellor European People’s Party
National: Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU)
22 November 2005 2013 2017? 15.91%
Alexis Tsipras
Greek script: Αλέξης Τσίπρας
Alexis Tsipras 2013.jpg  Greece Prime Minister Party of the European Left
National: Coalition of the Radical Left (ΣΥ.ΡΙΖ.Α.)
26 January 2015 2015 2019? 2.17%
Viktor Orbán
Eastern name order, as used in Hungary:Orbán Viktor
OrbanViktor 2011-01-07.jpg  Hungary Minister-President European People’s Party
National: Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance (Fidesz)
29 May 2010
(also in office: 1998-2002; note that Hungary has been a member state of the EU from 1st of May 2004)
2014 2018? 1.95%
Enda Kenny
Irish language: Éanna
Ó Coinnigh
EndaKenny.jpg  Ireland Taoiseach European People’s Party
National: Fine Gael (FG)
9 March 2011 2011 2016? 0.91%
Matteo Renzi Matteo Renzi 2.jpg  Italy President of the Council of Ministers Party of European Socialists
National: Democratic Party (PD)
22 February 2014 2013 2018? 12.05%
Laimdota Straujuma
née Lustika
Laimdota Straujuma 2012-01-30.jpg  Latvia Minister-President European People’s Party
National: Party ‘UNITY’ (V)
22 January 2014 2014 2018? 0.39%
Dalia Grybauskaitė Dalia Grybauskaitė 2010-03-11.jpg  Lithuania President Independent 12 July 2009 2014 2019? 0.58%
Xavier Bettel Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg supports Charlie Hebdo-102.jpg  Luxembourg Prime Minister Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party
National: Democratic Party (DP)
4 December 2013 2013 2019? 0.11%
Joseph Muscat Joseph Muscat, cropped.jpg  Malta Prime Minister Party of European Socialists
National: Labour Party (PL)
11 March 2013 2013 2018? 0.08%
Mark Rutte Mark Rutte-6 (cropped).jpg  Netherlands Minister-President Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party
National: People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD)
14 October 2010 2012 2017? 3.37%
Ewa Kopacz
née Lis
JRKRUK 20130829 EWA KOPACZ BUSKO IMG 3148.jpg  Poland President of the Council of Ministers European People’s Party
National: Civic Platform of the Republic of Poland (PO)
22 September 2014 2011 2015 7.49%
Pedro Passos Coelho Pedro Passos Coelho 1.jpg  Portugal Prime Minister European People’s Party
National: Social Democratic Party (PPD/PSD)
21 June 2011 2011 2015 2.06%
Klaus Iohannis Klaus Iohannis din interviul cu Dan Tapalagă.tif  Romania President European People’s Party
National: Independent
21 December 2014 2014 2019? 3.93%
Robert Fico Robert Fico official gov portrait.jpeg  Slovakia Chairman of the Government Party of European Socialists
National: DIRECTION – Social Democracy (SMER-SD)
4 April 2012
(also in office:
2006-2010)
2012 2016? 1.06%
Miro Cerar Miro Cerar 2014-07-13.jpg  Slovenia President of the Government Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party
National: Modern Centre Party (SMC)
18 September 2014 2014 2018? 0.41%
Mariano Rajoy Presidente Mariano Rajoy Brey 2012 - La Moncloa.JPG  Spain President of the Government European People’s Party
National: People’s Party (PP)
21 December 2011 2011 2015 9.17%
Stefan Löfven Stefan Löfven edited and cropped.jpg  Sweden Minister of the State Party of European Socialists
National: Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Sweden (S)
3 October 2014 2014 2018? 1.90%
David Cameron David Cameron official.jpg  United Kingdom Prime Minister Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
National: Conservative Party (Con)
11 May 2010 2015 2020? 12.63%

 

 

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