Written by Suzana Anghel, Izabela Bacian, Ralf Drachenberg and Annastiina Papunen,
The role of the European Council is to ‘provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development’ and to define its ‘general political directions and priorities’. Since its creation in 1975, the European Council has exercised considerable influence over the development of the European Union, a process enhanced by its designation as a formal institution of the Union under the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.
The European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) monitors and analyses the activities, commitments and impact of the European Council, so as to maximise parliamentary understanding of the political dynamics of this important institution.
This EPRS publication, ‘Key issues in the European Council’, which is updated every quarter to coincide with European Council meetings, aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues. It analyses twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background, the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council and the results of its involvement to date, as well as some of the future challenges in each policy field.
Read this study on ‘Key issues in the European Council: State of play in October 2020‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.