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ECOS

The European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS)monitors and analyses the delivery of the European Council in respect of the commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings, as well as its various responsibilities either in law or on the basis of intergovernmental agreements.
ECOS has written 81 posts for European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

The European Council’s role in the EU policy cycle

Since its establishment in 1975, the European Council, which is made up of the Heads of State or Government of EU Member States, has wielded considerable influence over the development of the European Union. According to the Treaties, the European Council’s primary role is to ‘define the general political directions and priorities’ (Article 15(1) of the Treaty on European Union). This role has rapidly evolved over the past decade, and today the European Council’s involvement in the EU policy cycle is much broader, covering tasks from agenda-setting to exercising scrutiny. In practice, its activities often exceed the role envisaged in the Treaties. This level of involvement has a significant impact both on the role of the other EU institutions within the policy cycle and the functioning of the ordinary legislative procedure. Continue reading

Outcome of the special European Council meeting of 30 June-2 July 2019

After a lengthy meeting, lasting from 30 June to 2 July with interruptions, the European Council agreed on a package of candidates for the EU high-level positions. The German Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, was proposed as candidate for European Commission President, now subject to election by the European Parliament. Continue reading

Outcome of the European Council and Euro Summit, 20-21 June 2019

At their most recent meeting, EU Heads of State or Government postponed decisions on nominating a set of high-level EU appointments, including the position of President of the European Commission. Continue reading

Outlook for the European Council and Euro Summit meetings, 20-21 June 2019

The June 2019 European Council meeting, the last regular one in the current institutional cycle, has a full agenda. First, EU leaders will discuss, and potentially agree on, high-level appointments to EU institutions. Continue reading

Outcome of the informal dinner of Heads of State or Government on 28 May 2019

EU leaders met to consider the outcome of the European Parliament elections, and to start the appointment process to high-level EU positions ahead of the June 2019 European Council. They discussed the principles that would guide their action, and mandated the European Council President, Donald Tusk, to begin consultations with the Parliament. Continue reading

Outcome of the informal meeting of EU-27 leaders on 9 May 2019 in Sibiu

Just two weeks before the European elections, EU-27 Heads of State or Government met on 9 May 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu, to discuss the Union’s common future. They adopted the Sibiu Declaration, recalling the achievements and values of the European Union. Continue reading

Assessing the Leaders’ Agenda

The Leaders’ Agenda, adopted by the EU Heads of State or Government on 20 October 2017, was designed both as a contribution to the realisation of the objectives set out in the ‘future of Europe’ debate and as a concrete work programme for the European Council up to June 2019. Continue reading

Outcome of the Special European Council (Article 50) meeting, 10 April 2019

At the special European Council (Article 50) meeting on 10 April 2019, Heads of State or Government agreed to further extend the Article 50 period until 31 October 2019 at the latest. This goes beyond the request made by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, for that period to be extended until 30 June 2019, but represents only half of the time period some European Council members had been seeking to offer. Continue reading

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders, 21-22 March 2019

On 21 and 22 March 2019, the European Council was due to focus primarily on economic, single market and climate change issues, as well as on external relations and disinformation. Continue reading

Outcome of the meetings of EU Heads of State or Government, 13-14 December 2018

The meetings of EU Heads of State or Government that took place on 13-14 December 2018 dealt with a more extensive agenda than originally planned. Continue reading

Outlook for the European Council and Euro Summit, 13-14 December 2018

On 13 and 14 December, EU Heads of State or Government will hold their last meeting of 2018. Their discussions will mainly focus on the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the single market and migration. Continue reading

Outcome of the special European Council (Article 50), 25 November 2018

On 25 November 2018, EU-27 leaders met to finalise and formalise the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. They endorsed the withdrawal agreement, as presented by the negotiators of the EU and the United Kingdom (UK), and approved the political declaration on future EU-UK relations, accompanying the withdrawal agreement. Continue reading

Relations between the European Council and the European Parliament

The most notable change in the European Union’s institutional architecture since the beginning of the European project was the launch in 1975 of the European Council, which became a formal institution in 2009. Continue reading

Outlook for the special European Council (Article 50), 25 November 2018

On 25 November 2018, EU Heads of State or Government are scheduled to meet for a special European Council to endorse the Brexit withdrawal agreement and approve a political declaration on future EU-UK relations accompanying the withdrawal agreement. Continue reading

Outcome of the meetings of EU Heads of State or Government, 17-18 October 2018

Although Brexit was the most anticipated point on the agenda, the European Council (Article 50) meeting of 17 October 2018 did not make any significant progress towards finalising a withdrawal agreement; nor did it decide to hold a special meeting on Brexit in November. Continue reading

Outlook for the meetings of EU Heads of State or Government, 17-18 October 2018

As has become the norm with European Council meetings, EU Heads of State or Government will convene on 17 and 18 October 2018 in different formats with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular meeting of the European Council, and an enlarged Euro Summit of 27 Member States on 18 October, preceded by a European Council (Article 50) meeting on the 17 October over dinner. Continue reading

European Council: Facts and Figures

The European Council is one of the most important European Institutions and receives a lot of media attention when it meets. However, many aspects of this institution are less well known, and citizens ask themselves who are the Members of the European Council, since when does the European Council exist and how did its role evolve and the number and type of participants change over time. Continue reading

Outcome of the meetings of EU leaders on 28-29 June 2018

High expectations had built up before the June European Council meeting, in particular on migration. Prior to the meeting, the European Council President, Donald Tusk, had said that ‘the stakes are very high. And time is short. Continue reading

The European Council in 2017: Overview of decisions and discussions

For the first year in almost a decade, the European Council was not in crisis mode in 2017. Throughout the year, the political and economic situation in the European Union (EU) improved markedly. Continue reading

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders, 28-29 June 2018

Expectations are high for the meetings of EU Heads of State or Government on 28 and 29 June 2018, as important decisions are required on several policy topics, including the reform of the euro area and the revision of the Dublin Regulation. Whether concrete results will emerge from this meeting on any, or all, of the controversial topics remains to be seen. Continue reading

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