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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

Paris Agreement on top of Council's agenda

Environment ministers are meeting on 30 September to discuss the ratification of the Paris Agreement. They are expected to agree on the conclusion of the global agreement on climate change on behalf of the EU. 

After the consent of the European Parliament, the Council would adopt a decision for the EU to ratify the Paris Agreement in October.

The Paris Agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries accounting for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the agreement.

In focus

Paris Agreement on top of Council's agenda

Environment ministers are meeting on 30 September to discuss the ratification of the Paris Agreement. They are expected to agree on the conclusion of the global agreement on climate change on behalf of the EU. 

After the consent of the European Parliament, the Council would adopt a decision for the EU to ratify the Paris Agreement in October.

The Paris Agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries accounting for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the agreement.