EUROPEAN COUNCIL (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     1st July 2024        

Context: The Prime Minister of India extended congratulations to H.E. António Costa on his election as the next President of the European Council.

European Council

  • About: It is a collegiate body (directorial system) that defines the overall political direction and priorities of the European Union. The European Council is part of the executive of the European Union (EU), beside the European Commission.

oIt ensures strategic coherence among member states in EU policies.

  • Composition: The European Council consists of the heads of state or government of the member states, alongside its own President and the Commission President (both non-voting).

oThe High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy also participates in its meetings.

  • Evolution: Originating as an informal summit in 1975, it gained institutional status with the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009.
  • Decision-Making: Chaired by its president at least biannually in Brussels.
  • Decisions are made by consensus among member states, except where specified otherwise by treaties.
  • Powers and Responsibilities

oDefined as an official EU institution under the Lisbon Treaty, tasked with advancing EU development.

oInfluential in shaping EU policy, especially in high-profile areas like foreign policy.

oExercises powers such as appointing key EU officials and proposing the President of the European Commission to the European Parliament.

oThe European Council provides strategic guidance and crisis management for the EU.

oLegislative initiatives are proposed solely by the European Commission.

output themes