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

  • Irish border agreement a “massive achievement” - MEP Kelly +

    “Today’s agreement is a massive achievement for the Irish government, for the EU27, but mostly for citizens who want to Read More
  • Disability Federation of Ireland at the European Parliament +

    It was a great pleasure to welcome members of the Disability Federation of Ireland to the Parliament today with my Read More
  • Brexit: "EPP standing firm with Ireland on border" - MEP Kelly +

    Seán Kelly MEP, leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, has thanked the European People's Party (EPP) Group for Read More
  • GAA is example for EU: Kelly launches European Platform for Traditional Sports and Games +

    Seán Kelly MEP and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament officially launched the European Platform for Traditional Sports Read More
  • MEP Kelly receives backing for Ireland’s firm stance on border from EPP Group +

    MEP for Ireland South and leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament has this morning reiterated the importance of Read More
  • MEP Kelly to raise Shannon Foynes Port with An Taoiseach +

    “Shannon Foynes Port has massive economic potential and is of vital importance to Limerick, Cork, Clare but also to Ireland Read More
  • Ireland-South group hosted in Brussels by MEP Seán Kelly +

    Seán Kelly MEP and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament was joined this week in Brussels by Ireland Read More
  • Kelly secures EU Parliament agreement on renewable energy target +

    Seán Kelly MEP and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament today secured the backing of MEPs on an 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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