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The Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union

 

SUMMARY OF:

Article 16 Treaty on European Union

Articles 237 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Articles 238 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Articles 239 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Articles 240 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Articles 241 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Articles 242 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Articles 243 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE ARTICLES?

They set out the role, composition and functioning of the Council of the European Union, which represents the governments of the EU countries.

KEY POINTS

Role

Composition

  • There are no fixed members of the Council.
  • The Council meets in 10 different configurations, each corresponding to the policy area being discussed. Depending on the configuration, each country sends their minister responsible for that policy area.
  • The Foreign Affairs Council has a permanent chairperson — the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. All other Council meetings are chaired by the relevant minister of the country holding the rotating EU presidency.
  • The General Affairs Council is responsible for ensuring consistency in the work of the different Council configurations and for preparing for European Council meetings.

Voting

  • All discussions and votes in the Council take place in public.
  • In most cases, the Council decides by qualified majority. This means that, as a general rule, for a decision to be passed:
    • 55% of countries (with 28 members, so 16 countries);
    • representing at least 65% of the total EU population vote in favour.
  • To block a decision, at least countries are needed (representing at least 35% of the total EU population).
  • For certain sensitive matters, such as foreign policy and taxation, the Council decides by unanimity.
  • A simple majority of countries will suffice for procedural and administrative issues.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union — Title III — Provisions on the institutions — Article 16 (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, p. 24)

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Part six — Institutional and financial provisions — Title I — Institutional provisions — Chapter 1 — The institutions — Section 3 — The Council — Article 237 (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, p. 153)

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Part six — Institutional and financial provisions — Title I — Institutional provisions — Chapter 1 — The institutions — Section 3 — The Council — Article 238 (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, pp. 153-154)

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Part six — Institutional and financial provisions — Title I — Institutional provisions — Chapter 1 — The institutions — Section 3 — The Council — Article 239 (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, p. 154)

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Part six — Institutional and financial provisions — Title I — Institutional provisions — Chapter 1 — The institutions — Section 3 — The Council — Article 240 (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, p. 154)

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Part six — Institutional and financial provisions — Title I — Institutional provisions — Chapter 1 — The institutions — Section 3 — The Council — Article 241 (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, p. 155)

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Part six — Institutional and financial provisions — Title I — Institutional provisions — Chapter 1 — The institutions — Section 3— The Council — Article 242 (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, p. 155)

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Part six — Institutional and financial provisions — Title I — Institutional provisions — Chapter 1 — The institutions — Section 3 — The Council — Article 243 (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, p. 155)

last update 11.12.2017

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