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Council preparatory bodies

The Council of the European Union is supported by the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the European Union (Coreper) and highly specialised working parties and committees.

These preparatory bodies help to prepare the Council's work. They are composed of delegates from each EU Member State and are assisted by the General Secretariat of the Council.

Committees, groups and working parties can be established by the Treaties, intergovernmental decisions, by a Council act or by Coreper. They can be permanent (for example, the Economic and Financial Committee provided by Article 134 TFEU) or created ad hoc for a specific purpose and cease to exist when their task is fulfilled.

They can be chaired by an appointed or elected chairperson, the delegate of the country holding the rotating 6-month presidency of the Council, by a representative of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy or by the General Secretariat of the Council.