The European Council
Follow the President of the European Council on:
The European Council defines the EU's overall political direction and priorities. It is not one of the EU's legislating institutions, so does not negotiate or adopt EU laws. Instead it sets the EU's policy agenda, traditionally by adopting 'conclusions' during European Council meetings which identify issues of concern and actions to take.
More recently, the European Council adopted a 'strategic agenda' of priority areas for longer-term EU action and focus.
Members of the European Council
The members of the European Council are the heads of state or government of the 28 EU member states, the European Council President and the President of the European Commission.
The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy also takes part in European Council meetings when foreign affairs issues are discussed.
The European Council mostly takes its decisions by consensus. However, in certain specific cases outlined in the EU treaties, it decides by unanimity or by qualified majority.
If a vote is taken, neither the European Council President nor the Commission President take part.
On 9 October 2015 President Donald Tusk met the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borissov in Varna
Weekly schedule of President Donald Tusk 12-19 October 2015
On 7 October 2015 President Donald Tusk sent a letter to Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, following the elections in Portugal
On 6 October 2015 in Strasbourg, President Tusk reported to the European Parliament on the discussions held at the last informal European Council.
On 5 October 2015 President Tusk and President Erdoğan discussed migration and other issues of common interest.
Weekly schedule of President Donald Tusk 5-9 October 2015
On 29 September 2015 President Donald Tusk addressed the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York
On 28 September 2015 President Donald Tusk participated to the Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping hosted by US President Barack Obama on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York
Weekly schedule of President Donald Tusk 26 September - 02 October 2015.
At the press conference of the informal meeting of heads of state or government on 23 September 2015, President Donald Tusk presented the agreed outcome of the meeting.
EU leaders met in Brussels to agree on a list of immediate priorities on the current refugee crisis and to discuss how to respond to long term migratory challenges.
Press remarks by President Donald Tusk following his meeting with H.M. the King of Jordan, Abdullah II bin al-Hussein, Amman 20 September 2015.
Press remarks by President Donald Tusk following the meeting with President Al-Sisi, President of Egypt on 19 September 2015
On 18 September 2015 President Donald Tusk sent an invitation letter to the Informal European Council meeting on 23 September 2015.
Leaders of the European Union and the Republic of Korea, met in Seoul and discussed about taking the ROK-EU Strategic Partnership to the next level, stepping up cooperation on Foreign and Security Policy and enhancing cooperation for global welfare and safer future.
On 15 September 2015 President Tusk held a joint press conference following the 8th EU-Republic of Korea summit in Seoul
President Donald Tusk expresses his sincere condolences after the collapse of a crane at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
European Council meetings
The European Council meets at least twice every 6 months. Its meetings, often referred to as 'EU summits' are held in Brussels, in the Justus Lipsius building.
Meetings are chaired by the European Council President. The President can also convene extraordinary European Council meetings when needed.
The President of the European Parliament attends the start of each meeting, to outline the European Parliament's views. Other people, such as the President of the European Central Bank, may be invited to attend meetings, depending on the issues being discussed.
G20 leaders will meet in Antalya, Turkey, on 15-16 November 2015.
An international summit to discuss migration issues with African and other key countries will take place in Valletta on 11-12 November 2015.
EU leaders are expected to focus on migration at their meeting in October. They will also take stock of discussions on the Economic and Monetary Union and be informed on the plans for the referendum in the UK.
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, spoke at the UN 70th General Assembly on behalf of the EU.
The informal meeting of EU leaders on 23 September 2015 discussed an overall approach to the refugee crisis and the necessity to establish a credible European migration policy.
The 8th bilateral summit between the EU and the Republic of Korea took place in Seoul on 15 September 2015.
At the 17th bilateral EU-China summit, leaders celebrated the 40th anniversary of EU-China diplomatic relations.
EU leaders addressed migration, security challenges and economic issues.
Leaders of the EU and Mexico agreed to foster a closer and stronger strategic partnership at the 7th EU-Mexico summit.
On 10-11 June 2015, the EU-CELAC summit brought together European, Latin American and Caribbean leaders in Brussels to strengthen relations between both regions
The 2015 G7 summit in Germany focused on the global economy and climate change as well as on key foreign, security and development issues.
At their annual bilateral summit, the EU and Japan agreed to accelerate the negotiations for a strategic partnership agreement and a free trade agreement
The fourth Eastern Partnership summit took place in Riga on 21-22 May 2015, aiming at enhancing political and economic coperation between the EU and the Eeastern European partners
At the EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv, EU and Ukrainian leaders discussed Ukraine's political and economical reforms, the application of the Minsk agreements and preparations for the Eastern Partnership summit.
History of the European Council
The European Council was created in 1974 as an informal forum for discussion between heads of state or government of the EU member states. It soon developed a role as the body responsible for fixing EU goals and priorities.
Under the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, the European Council acquired a formal status and role - to provide the impetus and general political guidelines for the EU.
In 2009, following the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, the European Council became one of the 7 EU institutions.