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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 Slovak presidency

The Council will monitor the implementation of the new interinstitutional agreement on better law-making. It will also focus on the mid-term review of the multiannual financial framework 2014-2020

In addition, ministers will assess the insights gained from the dialogue on the promotion and protection of the rule of law since 2014. 

Concerning the enlargement policy, the Council will take stock of the progress of each country in its integration process and encourage them to carry out the necessary internal reforms.