The Council of the European Union represents the governments of the member states. In the Council, national ministers from all EU member states meet to legislate and coordinate policies. This is also an opportunity for delegates to express their member states’ positions and to defend their respective national interests.
Together with the European Parliament, the Council is the main decision-making body of the EU.
Council meetings are attended by representatives from each member state at a ministerial level. Participants can therefore be ministers or state secretaries. The Council meets in 10 different configurations, depending on the topic of discussion.
Depending on the issue under discussion, the Council of the EU takes its decisions by:
The presidency of the Council rotates among the EU member states every six months, according to a pre-determined schedule. The Republic of Croatia will hold the presidency from 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.
Learn more about the Croatian Presidency.
The European Council defines the EU's overall political direction and priorities and it's members are are the heads of state or government of the member states. The European Council is not a legislative body.
The Council of Europe is not an EU institution. It is an international organisation based in Strasbourg with Marija Pejčinović Burić as its Secretary General.