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The European Council

The European Council consists of the heads of state or government of the EU's member states, together with its President and the European Commission President. It defines the EU's general political direction and priorities.

The Council of the EU

The Council of the EU represents the member states' governments. Also known informally as the EU Council, it is where national ministers from each EU country meet to adopt laws and coordinate policies.

What is the Council?

The European Council and the Council of the EU are two very closely linked institutions. They have similar names and share the same buildings and staff - the General Secretariat of the Council (GSC). However, they have very different roles and membership. 

In focus

Proposal for a new settlement for the UK within the European Union

On 2 February 2016, President Donald Tusk has put forward a proposal for a new settlement addressing all the concerns raised by Prime Minister Cameron. This should serve as a good basis to negotiate a compromise with all 28 member states.

Discussions on the different elements of the proposal will start this week with the objective to reach an agreement at the upcoming European Council on 18-19 February.

In focus

Proposal for a new settlement for the UK within the European Union

On 2 February 2016, President Donald Tusk has put forward a proposal for a new settlement addressing all the concerns raised by Prime Minister Cameron. This should serve as a good basis to negotiate a compromise with all 28 member states.

Discussions on the different elements of the proposal will start this week with the objective to reach an agreement at the upcoming European Council on 18-19 February.