The Council is an essential EU decision-maker. It negotiates and adopts new EU legislation, adapts it when necessary, and coordinates policies. In most cases, the Council decides together with the European Parliament through the ordinary legislative procedure, also known as 'codecision'.
In a number of very specific areas, the Council takes decisions using special legislative procedures - the consent procedure and the consultation procedure - where the role of the Parliament is limited.
Response to illegal migration
Preventing and fighting illegal migration is a priority for the European Union. Following the tragic events in the Mediterranean on 19 April, heads of state and government met to discuss how the EU can improve its response. Their discussions built on the results of the extraordinary foreign and home affairs Council, held on 20 April. The main issues raised were:
- fighting human traffickers and smugglers
- improving the presence at sea
- enhancing internal solidarity
- preventing illegal migration flows