Written by Giulio Sabbati (in collaboration with European Council Oversight Unit)
This infographic aims to present the work of the European Council, based on an analysis of the conclusions of its meetings. It focuses on the period under its first permanent President, Herman Van Rompuy, from December 2009 to November 2014, since the Lisbon Treaty entered into force, but also goes back to its first meeting in 1975.
The European Council became an EU institution under the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009. It does not adopt EU laws; rather its role is to define the EU’s overall political direction and priorities. It sets the EU policy agenda, in particular through adopting ‘conclusions’ during its formal meetings. The Members of the European Council are the Heads of State or Government of the 28 Member States, plus the European Council’s President and the President of the European Commission. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy also takes part when foreign affairs issues are discussed. The European Council meets at least twice every six months and is chaired by its President.
This infographic is based on data reported in the study ‘Analysis of Agenda Setting in the European Council, 2009–2014’ by Petya Alexandrova Petrova of the Leibniz University of Hannover.