Coreper I is composed of each country's deputy permanent representatives. Its meetings are chaired by the deputy permanent representative of the country holding the presidency of the General Affairs Council.
Coreper I prepares the work of 6 Council configurations:
- agriculture and fisheries (only financial issues or technical measures on veterinary, phytosanitary or food legislation)
- education, youth, culture and sport
- employment, social policy, health and consumer affairs
- transport, telecommunications and energy
The work of Coreper I is prepared by the 'Mertens Group'. This informal group helps to form an initial idea of the positions that the various member state delegations will take at the Coreper meeting.
What is Coreper?
Coreper stands for the 'Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the European Union'. Its role and different formations is explained in article 240(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.
Coreper is the Council's main preparatory body. All items to be included into the Council's agenda (except for some agricultural matters) must first be examined by Coreper, unless the Council decides otherwise.
It is not an EU decision-making body, and any agreement it reaches can be called into question by the Council, which alone has the power to make decisions.
- coordinates and prepares the work of the different Council configurations
- ensures consistency of the EU's policies
- works out agreements and compromises which are then submitted for adoption by the Council
Composition and configurations
Coreper is composed of the 'permanent representatives' from each member state, who, in effect, are their country's ambassadors to the EU. They express the position of their government.
The two configurations of Coreper (Coreper I and II) meet every week.