European Council


27 Heads of Member States. President: Herman Van Rompuy, 2010-2014, Belgium.


Defines the “general political directions and priorities” of the EU. Deals with foreign policy, and ratifies important documents and treaties. Only entity in the EU that can suspend membership rights of any state. Can overrule a vote in the Council of Ministers with the consent of the European Parliament. Appoints its own president, the president of the European Commission (currently Jose Manuel Barroso, Portugal), the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (currently Catherine Ashton, UK) and the president of the European Central Bank (currently Mario Draghi, Italy).


Twice every six months (four times a year).


Justus Lipsius Building in Brussels; see below.


Justus Lipsius Building © EU 2013
Extended EU Council © EU 2013
Herman Van Rompuy, European Council President © EU 2013
1977 Demonstration for universal suffrage and single currency © EU 2013
EU Institutions European Council European Parliament Council of the EU European Commission Court of Justice European Central Bank European Court of Auditors Economic & Social Commitee Committee of the Regions
Copyright © GSJ & Author(s)