President of the European Council
Article 15 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) establishes the position of president of the European Council. The President is elected by the European Council by a qualified majority for a term of 2½ years, renewable once. He/she cannot simultaneously hold any national office.
The main functions of the President are:
- to independently and impartially chair and drive the European Council;
- to prepare the Council’s work and ensure its continuity in cooperation with the President of the Commission and on the basis of the work of the General Affairs Council;
- to seek cohesion and consensus among member countries;
- to ensure the EU’s representation on issues concerning the common foreign and security policy without prejudice to the powers of the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
- to report to the Parliament about the work of the European Council.
On 1 December 2014, Donald Tusk succeeded Herman Van Rompuy as President of the European Council.