In European Council conclusions and Euro Summit statements, the heads of state and government give guidance to the different Council configurations and other bodies on the work to be done. The tasks ahead following the leaders' meetings on 28 and 29 June 2012 range from rapidly setting up a single supervisor for Europe's banks to completing the negotiations for a new Multiannual Financial Framework and implementing the new Compact for growth and jobs.
The heads of state and government decided on a Compact for growth and jobs, which calls for action at the national, EU and euro area levels. The Council was asked by the leaders "to rapidly examine how to improve cooperation between the institutions" in order to ensure timely adoption of the EU legislation covered by the Compact.
A major legislative package falling under the Compact, and currently under negotiation between the Council and the European Parliament, consists of two draft regulations aimed at further strengthening economic governance in the euro area, known as the two-pack. These proposals, the leaders stated, "must be adopted swiftly".
Some important tasks have already been carried out: the country-specific recommendations to guide member states' policies and budgets were issued by the Council on 10 July, following their endorsement by the European Council. Adoption of the texts concluded this year's European Semester policy coordination exercise.
Other tasks, such as the finalisation of a Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2014-2020 will take longer. After the progress achieved during the Danish Presidency of the Council, the negotiations are entering their final phase this autumn. The aim is to reach an agreement on the MFF itself by the end of the year, followed by rapid adoption of all the relevant legislative texts.
In the area of justice and home affairs, the Council will continue work on the four outstanding legislative proposals that are needed to complete the Common European Asylum System, with the aim of adopting them by the end of 2012 as requested by the European Council.
In the field of EU enlargement, the accession negotiations with Montenegro started immediately after final endorsement by the European Council.
In the financial field, the Euro Area Summit statement calls for the Council to consider forthcoming Commission proposals for a single banking supervisory mechanism by the end of this year. This mechanism, to be run by the European Central Bank, could make it possible for the European Stability Mechanism to inject capital to banks directly.
These are just a few examples of the expected Council work this autumn. You will find more information on the Council's agenda in the six-month programme of the Cyprus Presidency.
European Council conclusions, 29 June 2012 (full text in pdf)
Euro Area Summit statement, 29 June 2012 (full text in pdf)
Provisional agendas for Council meetings until the end of 2012, 29 June 2012 (pdf)
Cyprus Presidency website