The General Affairs Council coordinates preparations for European Council meetings. It is also responsible for a number of cross-cutting policy areas.
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 is the institution responsible for defining the EU's political direction and priorities
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.