European Council (EuCo)


The European council consists of 28 members including two members who represent the European Union. The European Council officially gained the status of an EU institution after the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, distinct from the Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers). However, there were already held informal summits in 1969. As such, the European Council had already existed before it gained the status as an institution of the European union. with the entering into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, but even after it had been mentioned in the treaties (since the Single European Act) it could only take political decisions, not formal legal acts. However, when necessary, the Heads of State or Government could also meet as the Council of ministers and take formal decisions in that role. Since the institution is composed of national leaders, it gathers the executive power of the member states and has thus a great influence in high-profile policy areas as for example foreign policy. It also exercises powers of appointment, such as appointment of its own president, the high representative of the Union for foreign affairs and Security Policy and the and the President of the European central bank It proposes, to the European parliament, a candidate for President of the European commission. Moreover, the European Council influences police and justice planning, the composition of the Commission, matters relating to the organisation of the rotating Council presidency and the suspension of membership rights.