The authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations

A Changing EU

This fact was correct when it was updated on 21 Sep 2020

What is the European Council?

The European Council is the EU’s key strategic and crisis-solving body, and the most senior of the seven EU institutions. The members of the European Council are the 27 Presidents and Prime Ministers of the member states and the President of the European Commission. At the institution’s head is the President of the European Council, currently Charles Michel, who sets its agenda. Although it has no legislative power, the European Council determines the EU’s general political direction. It addresses topics that can only be resolved collectively by the political leaders of EU member governments, and deals with sensitive and crisis issues. It usually meets at least four times a year, but in recent years due to the financial, economic and migration crises it has convened far more frequently. Decisions in the European Council are usually taken by consensus.

Click here for more information on the European Council

More facts you may be interested in

When a new country joins the EU, does free movement apply straight away?

24 Sep 2020

What is the consent procedure?

24 Sep 2020

What is Article 49?

24 Sep 2020