The administration of the Council, the General Secretariat of the Council, was previously spread over several buildings across Brussels. To rationalise its internal functioning and costs, the Council of the EU drew up a buildings programme, the purpose of which was to regroup all the institution's administrative work and meetings in a smaller number of adjacent buildings.
This buildings programme also responded to evolving functional needs:
- the decision by the European Council to hold all its meetings in Brussels, replacing the previous rotation by member state
- the EU enlargement, which incorporated 13 countries in 10 years
- the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon, which created the position of permanent President of the European Council
The existing Justus Lipsius building was partly remodelled and the second building, the Lex, was acquired to house the growing number of translation units. A new building, the Europa building, designed to host Council and European Council meetings, has become operational in January 2017.
Justus Lipsius building
Since 1995, the Justus Lipsius building has been the seat of the Council of the EU and the General Secretariat of the Council. With the entry into force of the Treaty of Nice, it began on a provisional basis to host the European Council meetings. Since the beginning of 2017, Council of the EU and European Council meetings have been transferred to the new Europa building.
Since 2007 the Lex building has been home to the translation service of the General Secretariat of the Council. The units had previously been based in a number of buildings across Brussels. The Lex building brings all language units under one roof and hosts the new units added with the enlargement of the EU.
The Europa building hosts the meetings of the European Council, the Council of the EU and other high level bodies. It has been operational since the beginning of 2017.
Info Point Europa
This public information centre is managed jointly by the Council and the Commission.
European Convention Center (Luxembourg)
Following the rules set out in the Treaties, the Council of the European Union meets in Luxembourg in April, June and October. During these months, the Council rents the European Convention Center from the Luxembourgish government.
This is the central storage building of the General Secretariat, situated in the south of Brussels. It has three halls and a total surface area of around 5000 m2.