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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 97 posts for European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

Charles Michel as President of the European Council: The first 100+ days

On 1 December 2019, Charles Michel, previously prime minister of Belgium, became the third President of the European Council. He began his term in dynamic mode, aiming to make his mark in foreign affairs and develop the EU’s interinstitutional relations. Continue reading

Outcome of European Council video-conference of 26 March 2020

On 26 March, EU Heads of State or Government continued their joint coordination efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak and held a six hour-long video-conference meeting on this subject. They followed up on the priorities defined at the previous video-conferences on 10 and 17 March 2020, and outlined additional coordinated measures aimed at overcoming the crisis in a joint statement. Continue reading

The European Council as COVID-19 crisis manager: A comparison with previous crises

The COVID-19 outbreak confronts the European Union with a severe crisis, affecting both individual EU citizens’ lives and society as a whole. Due to its role and centrality in the EU’s institutional framework, the European Council is once again called upon to exercise its crisis-management role. Continue reading

The European Council, health policy and pandemics

The European  Council (of EU Heads  of State or Government)  has been active  in its response  to the coronaviru s crisis. So far it has held three video-conference  calls of national  leaders on the subject, with a view to seeking to develop a coordinated  response  both among the Member States and collectively at EU level. Continue reading

Outcome of the video-conference call of EU Heads of State or Government on 17 March 2020

‘The EU is facing a serious and exceptional crisis, in terms of magnitude and nature’. This was the main message from the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, after EU leaders held a three-hour-long video-conference to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak. Continue reading

Outcome of the video-conference call of EU Heads of State or Government on 10 March 2020

Given the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and the potential EU-wide ramifications, Heads of State or Government of the 27 EU Member States welcomed the initiative to hold a special meeting by video-conference on 10 March 2020. Continue reading

Outcome of the special European Council, 20-21 February 2020

On 20-21 February 2020, EU Heads of State or Government held their first meeting specially dedicated to the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) since the publication of the European Commission’s proposal in May 2018. Continue reading

The European Council and the 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework

EU Heads of State or Government will meet on 20 February 2020 for a special European Council meeting to discuss the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). Both the Sibiu Declaration of EU Heads of State or Government and the 2019-24 Strategic Agenda state that ‘the EU must give itself the means to match its ambitions, attain its objectives and carry through its policies’. Continue reading

Outcome of the meetings of EU leaders, 12-13 December 2019

At the first meeting chaired by the new President of the European Council, Charles Michel, EU Heads of State or Government gathered for meetings of the European Council, the European Council’s Article 50 formation and the Euro Summit. Continue reading

‘EU institutional dynamics: Ten years after the Lisbon Treaty’

A team from the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) recently organised an event on ‘EU institutional dynamics: Ten years after the Lisbon Treaty’ in the House of European history, in cooperation with the association of former members of the European Parliament (FMA) and Parliament’s Communications Directorate-General. Continue reading

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders on 12-13 December 2019

At the meeting of EU Heads of State or Government in December 2019, the first to be presided over by Charles Michel, EU leaders will meet in three different formats: a regular European Council, a European Council (Article 50) meeting, and an inclusive Euro Summit. Continue reading

Outcome of the European Council (Article 50) meeting on 17 October 2019

Leaders of the 27 EU Member States (EU-27) endorsed the agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) with a revised Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, as well as a revised political declaration on the framework of the future EU-UK relationship. Continue reading

Outcome of the European Council of 17-18 October 2019

After endorsing the revised UK withdrawal agreement, and approving a revised political declaration, in the European Council (Article 50) format, EU Heads of State or Government had to tackle a range of divisive issues at their 17-18 October meeting, including the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, enlargement, climate change and Turkey. Continue reading

Outlook for the European Council (Article 50) meeting on 17 October 2019

The October European Council meeting will represent an important point on the timeline of negotiations on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, as leaders will be taking stock of the situation heading up to the end of the extension period on 31 October 2019. Continue reading

Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders, 17-18 October 2019

The meeting of Heads of State or Government on 17-18 October is expected to be dominated by Brexit. The EU-27 leaders will probably meet in a European Council (Article 50) format to discuss the most recent developments in the negotiations, and deliberate on possible consequences. Continue reading

Origins of the 2019-24 EU Strategic Agenda: The Future of Europe debate and the Sibiu European Council

The Sibiu Summit of 9 May 2019 and the subsequent adoption of the 2019-24 Strategic Agenda on 20 June 2019 constitute the end of the Future of Europe debate (at least in its current iteration), which was initiated following the June 2016 UK referendum on EU membership. Continue reading

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

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