and Croatia

Council of the European Union

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 of the EU

The Council of the EU:

  • negotiates and adopts EU laws
  • coordinates EU countries’ policies
  • develops the EU’s foreign & security policy
  • concludes agreements between the EU and other countries or international organisations
  • adopts the annual EU budget – jointly with the European Parliament

Find out more about the Council 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.

Find out more about Council configurations

Depending on the issue under discussion, the Council of the EU takes its decisions by:

  • simple majority (15 member states vote in favour)
  • qualified majority (55% of member states, representing at least 65% of the EU population, vote in favour)
  • unanimous vote (all votes are in favour)

Look at the Council’s voting calculator

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.