Council of the EU | EUNewsletter

EU institutions and bodies

While forming the European Union, its member-states partially gave away their national powers in order to establish a political community with a unified structure. There are currently seven official European institutions, which play different roles for the functioning and activities of the EU.

Council of the EU

Council of the European Union
Council of the European Union (The Council) is the European Union’s main decision-making body.The Council is responsible for decision-making and coordination: it passes laws, usually legislating jointly with the European Parliament; co-ordinates the broad economic policies of the Member States; defines and implements the EU’s common foreign and security policy, based on guidelines set by the European Council; concludes, on behalf of the Community and the Union, international agreements between the EU and one or more states or international organizations; co-ordinates the actions of Member States and adopts measures in the area of police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters.The Council and the European Parliament constitute the budgetary authority that adopts the Community’s budget. The meetings of the Council of the European Union include ministers from Member States. Depending on the issue on the agenda, each country will be represented by the minister responsible for that subject. The presidency of the Council is held for six months by each Member State on a rotational basis. The acts of the Council can take the form of regulations, directives, decisions, common actions or common positions, recommendations or opinions. It can also adopt conclusions, declarations or resolutions. When the Council acts as a legislator, in principle, it is the European Commission that makes proposals. Official website: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/showPage.aspx?id=242