General Affairs Council configuration (GAC)

Council of the EU

The General Affairs Council coordinates preparations for European Council meetings. It is also responsible for a number of cross-cutting policy areas.

How does the General Affairs Council work?

The General Affairs Council is mainly made up of the European affairs ministers from all EU member states. The European Commission is usually represented by the Commissioner for interinstitutional relations, depending on the matter discussed.

GAC meetings are held once a month.

The European Council

The European Council is the institution responsible for defining the EU's political direction and priorities

About the General Affairs Council

The General Affairs Council is responsible for ensuring consistency in the work of all Council configurations. It prepares and follows up on meetings of the European Council (the meeting of heads of state or government of the EU member states).

It is responsible for a number of cross-cutting policy areas, which include EU enlargement and accession negotiations, the adoption of the multiannual financial framework (the EU's 7 year budget plan), cohesion policy, matters relating to the EU's institutional set-up and any dossier entrusted to it by the European Council.

Priorities of the General Affairs Council during the Maltese presidency

The Council will aim to conclude the negotiations within the Council and to obtain the Parliament's consent on the revision of the 2014-2020 multi-annual financial framework. In addition, ministers will try to make progress in negotiations within the Council and with the Parliament on the so-called Omnibus regulation, which  aims to simplify budgetary procedures.  

The Council will continue the work on the implementation of the interinstitutional agreement on better law-making.  

It will also keep on working on the implementation of the programmes agreed in the framework of the cohesion policy for 2014-2020. 

Concerning the enlargement policy, the presidency intends to underline the importance that the rule of law can play in advancing economic development in the candidate and potential candidate countries.