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

One step closer to the end of roaming charges

On 2 December the Council adopted its position on new rules for wholesale roaming markets in the EU. This is a necessary precondition for the abolition of roaming fees for consumers in 2017.

The draft regulation lays down limits for what operators may charge each other for the use of their networks to provide roaming services. These caps cover voice calls, sms messages and the use of data. Maximum charges will be negotiated.

The agreed text is the starting point for negotiations with the European Parliament to meet the deadline to end roaming by June 2017.

In focus

One step closer to the end of roaming charges

On 2 December the Council adopted its position on new rules for wholesale roaming markets in the EU. This is a necessary precondition for the abolition of roaming fees for consumers in 2017.

The draft regulation lays down limits for what operators may charge each other for the use of their networks to provide roaming services. These caps cover voice calls, sms messages and the use of data. Maximum charges will be negotiated.

The agreed text is the starting point for negotiations with the European Parliament to meet the deadline to end roaming by June 2017.