The Council of the European Union, known as the Council, is where Ministers from each EU country meet to adopt laws and coordinate policies. The Council was set up by the founding treaties of the European Union in the 1950s.

It meets in ten different configurations depending on the topics under discussion: Economic and Financial Affairs; Justice and Home Affairs; Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs; Competitiveness; Transport, Telecommunications and Energy; Agriculture and Fisheries; Environment; Education, Youth, Culture and Sport; General Affairs; Foreign Affairs. 

Each minister is empowered to commit his or her government; that means that the minister's signature is the signature of the whole government. Each Minister remains answerable to the national parliament and ultimately to the citizens they represent. This ensures the democratic legitimacy of the Council's decisions.

Up to four times a year the Presidents and/or Prime Ministers of the EU member states, together with the President of the European Commission, and the President of the European Council, meet as the European Council. These 'summit' meetings set overall EU policy and resolve issues that could not be settled at a lower level (i.e. by the Ministers at normal Council meetings).

Learn more at: www.consilium.europa.eu 

Newsletter

News & Events

  • FG MEPs congratulate Taoiseach Leo Varadkar +

    The four Fine Gael MEPs have congratulated Leo Varadkar on his election as An Taoiseach today (Wednesday). Seán Kelly, Mairead Read More
  • The end of extortionate roaming charges - Seán Kelly MEP +

    From today (Thursday), extortionate mobile roaming charges will be a thing of the past thanks to the European Union, according Read More
  • MEP Kelly criticises Parliament position on 2030 target – would lead to a poor use of Irish taxpayer's money +

    MEP for Ireland South and Energy Committee rapporteur for the European People’s Party (EPP) on the 2030 climate targets, Seán Read More
  • Foróige wins the European Citizen's Prize - nominated by Fine Gael MEPs +

    Fine Gael MEPs Seán Kelly, Mairead McGuinness, Brian Hayes and Deirdre Clune have congratulated Ireland's leading youth organisation, Foróige, on Read More
  • Enda Kenny: A hero in Europe who brought Ireland back from the brink +

    The Leader of the Fine Gael Delegation in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly MEP, has paid tribute to An Taoiseach Read More
  • Kelly hosts EPP Brexit meeting in Wicklow +

    Leader of the Fine Gael Delegation in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly MEP, is hosting a meeting of MEPs belonging Read More
  • MEP Kelly hosts Limerick event to mobilise investment for Irish business +

    The EU Investment Plan - Opportunities for the Regions - Friday, 28 April, 9am-11am, Limerick Seán Kelly MEP is bringing EU funding Read More
  • Roam like at home: Final hurdle to abolish roaming fees today – Seán Kelly MEP +

    "The European Parliament will today ensure that we cross the final hurdle to abolish mobile roaming charges in the EU," Read More
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Jargon Buster

  • Special EU Programmes Body +

    Special EU Programmes Body ... In 1994, following the announcement of the IRA Ceasefire, the then President of the Commission Jacques Delors, Read More
  • European Financial Stability Fund +

    European Financial Stability Fund ... On the night of the 9th of May 2010, the European Council - the summit of EU leaders, Read More
  • Erasmus Programme +

    Erasmus Programme ... Travel broadens the mind and education fills it, so what better way to expand your horizons than to travel Read More
  • Leonardo da Vinci +

    Leonardo da Vinci is arguably history's most famous artist and inventor, known equally for the Mona Lisa as for providing blueprints Read More
  • Rapporteur +

    Rapporteur is a word often heard around the European Parliament. Derived from the French, it simply means "author of a report". Read More
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