European Council

The European Council is a collective body that defines the European Union's overall political direction and priorities. It comprises the heads of state or government of the EU member states, along with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy also takes part in its meetings.[1] Established as an informal summit in 1975, the European Council was formalised as an institution in 2009 upon the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. Its current president is Donald Tusk, former Prime Minister of Poland.

European Council
Council of the EU and European Council
Emblem
Formation1961 (informally)
2009 (formally)
TypeInstitution of the European Union
Location
Donald Tusk
Websiteconsilium.europa.eu

Scope

While the European Council has no formal legislative power, it is a strategic (and crisis-solving) body that provides the union with general political directions and priorities, and acts as a collective presidency. The European Commission remains the sole initiator of legislation, but the European Council is able to provide an impetus to guide legislative policy.[2][3]

The meetings of the European Council, still commonly referred to as EU summits, are chaired by its president and take place at least twice every six months;[1] usually in the Europa building in Brussels.[4][5] Decisions of the European Council are taken by consensus, except where the Treaties provide otherwise.[6]

History

Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F075760-0010, Brüssel, Sitzung des Europarates
A traditional group photo, here taken at the royal palace in Brussels during Belgium's 1987 presidency

The European Council officially gained the status of an EU institution after the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, distinct from the Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers). Before that, the first summits of EU heads of state or government were held in February and July 1961 (in Paris and Bonn respectively). They were informal summits of the leaders of the European Community, and were started due to then-French President Charles de Gaulle's resentment at the domination of supranational institutions (notably the European Commission) over the integration process, but petered out. The first influential summit held, after the departure of de Gaulle, was the Hague summit of 1969, which reached an agreement on the admittance of the United Kingdom into the Community and initiated foreign policy cooperation (the European Political Cooperation) taking integration beyond economics.[1][7]

The summits were only formalised in the period between 1974 and 1988. At the December summit in Paris in 1974, following a proposal from then-French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, it was agreed that more high level, political input was needed following the "empty chair crisis" and economic problems.[8] The inaugural European Council, as it became known, was held in Dublin on 10 and 11 March 1975 during Ireland's first Presidency of the Council of Ministers. In 1987, it was included in the treaties for the first time (the Single European Act) and had a defined role for the first time in the Maastricht Treaty. At first only a minimum of two meetings per year were required, which resulted in an average of three meetings per year being held for the 1975-1995 period. Since 1996, the number of meetings were required to be minimum four per year. For the latest 2008-2014 period, this minimum was well exceeded, by an average of seven meetings being held per year. The seat of the Council was formalised in 2002, basing it in Brussels. Three types of European Councils exist: Informal, Scheduled and Extraordinary. While the informal meetings are also scheduled 1½ years in advance, they differ from the scheduled ordinary meetings by not ending with official Council conclusions, as they instead end by more broad political Statements on some cherry picked policy matters. The extraordinary meetings always end with official Council conclusions - but differs from the scheduled meetings by not being scheduled more than a year in advance, as for example in 2001 when the European Council gathered to lead the European Union's response to the 11 September attacks.[1][7]

Tratado de Lisboa 13 12 2007 (081)
The European Council at the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007

Some meetings of the European Council—and, before the Council was formalised, meetings of the heads of government—are seen by some as turning points in the history of the European Union. For example:[1]

As such, the European Council had already existed before it gained the status as an institution of the European Union with the entering into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, but even after it had been mentioned in the treaties (since the Single European Act) it could only take political decisions, not formal legal acts. However, when necessary, the Heads of State or Government could also meet as the Council of Ministers and take formal decisions in that role. Sometimes, this was even compulsory, e.g. Article 214(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community provided (before it was amended by the Treaty of Lisbon) that ‘the Council, meeting in the composition of Heads of State or Government and acting by a qualified majority, shall nominate the person it intends to appoint as President of the Commission’ (emphasis added); the same rule applied in some monetary policy provisions introduced by the Maastricht Treaty (e.g. Article 109j TEC). In that case, what was politically part of a European Council meeting was legally a meeting of the Council of Ministers. When the European Council, already introduced into the treaties by the Single European Act, became an institution by virtue of the Treaty of Lisbon, this was no longer necessary, and the "Council [of the European Union] meeting in the composition of the Heads of State or Government", was replaced in these instances by the European Council now taking formal legally binding decisions in these cases (Article 15 of the Treaty on European Union).[10]

The Treaty of Lisbon made the European Council a formal institution distinct from the (ordinary) Council of the EU, and created the present longer term and full-time presidency. As an outgrowth of the Council of the EU, the European Council had previously followed the same Presidency, rotating between each member state. While the Council of the EU retains that system, the European Council established, with no change in powers, a system of appointing an individual (without them being a national leader) for a two-and-a-half-year term - which can be renewed for the same person only once.[11] Following the ratification of the treaty in December 2009, the European Council elected the then-Prime Minister of Belgium Herman Van Rompuy as its first permanent president (resigning from Belgian Prime Minister).[12]

Powers and functions

The European Council is an official institution of the EU, mentioned by the Lisbon Treaty as a body which "shall provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development". Essentially it defines the EU's policy agenda and has thus been considered to be the motor of European integration.[1] Beyond the need to provide "impetus", the Council has developed further roles: to "settle issues outstanding from discussions at a lower level", to lead in foreign policy — acting externally as a "collective Head of State", "formal ratification of important documents" and "involvement in the negotiation of the treaty changes".[4][7]

Since the institution is composed of national leaders, it gathers the executive power of the member states and has thus a great influence in high-profile policy areas as for example foreign policy. It also exercises powers of appointment, such as appointment of its own President, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the President of the European Central Bank. It proposes, to the European Parliament, a candidate for President of the European Commission. Moreover, the European Council influences police and justice planning, the composition of the Commission, matters relating to the organisation of the rotating Council presidency, the suspension of membership rights, and changing the voting systems through the Passerelle Clause. Although the European Council has no direct legislative power, under the "emergency brake" procedure, a state outvoted in the Council of Ministers may refer contentious legislation to the European Council. However, the state may still be outvoted in the European Council.[11][13][14] Hence with powers over the supranational executive of the EU, in addition to its other powers, the European Council has been described by some as the Union's "supreme political authority".[4][7][11][15]

Composition

The European Council consists of the heads of state or government of the member states, alongside its own President and the Commission President (both non-voting). The meetings used to be regularly attended by the national foreign minister as well, and the Commission President likewise accompanied by another member of the Commission. However, since the Treaty of Lisbon, this has been discontinued, as the size of the body had become somewhat large following successive accessions of new Member States to the Union.[1][4]

Meetings can also include other invitees, such as the President of the European Central Bank, as required. The Secretary-General of the Council attends, and is responsible for organisational matters, including minutes. The President of the European Parliament also attends to give an opening speech outlining the European Parliament's position before talks begin.[1][4]

Additionally, the negotiations involve a large number of other people working behind the scenes. Most of those people, however, are not allowed to the conference room, except for two delegates per state to relay messages. At the push of a button members can also call for advice from a Permanent Representative via the "Antici Group" in an adjacent room. The group is composed of diplomats and assistants who convey information and requests. Interpreters are also required for meetings as members are permitted to speak in their own languages.[1] As the composition is not precisely defined, some states which have a considerable division of executive power can find it difficult to decide who should attend the meetings. While an MEP, Alexander Stubb argued that there was no need for the President of Finland to attend Council meetings with or instead of the Prime Minister of Finland (who was head of European foreign policy).[16] In 2008, having become Finnish Foreign Minister, Stubb was forced out of the Finnish delegation to the emergency council meeting on the Georgian crisis because the President wanted to attend the high-profile summit as well as the Prime Minister (only two people from each country could attend the meetings). This was despite Stubb being Chair-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe at the time which was heavily involved in the crisis. Problems also occurred in Poland where the President of Poland and the Prime Minister of Poland were of different parties and had a different foreign policy response to the crisis.[17] A similar situation arose in Romania between President Traian Băsescu and Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu in 2007–2008 and again in 2012 with Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who both opposed the president.

Eurozone summits

A number of ad hoc meetings of Heads of State or Government of the Euro area countries were held in 2010 and 2011 to discuss the Sovereign Debt crisis. It was agreed in October 2011 that they should meet regularly twice a year (with extra meetings if needed). This will normally be at the end of a European Council meeting and according to the same format (chaired by the President of the European Council and including the President of the Commission), but usually restricted to the (currently 19) Heads of State or Government of countries whose currency is the euro.

President

The President of the European Council is elected by the European Council by a qualified majority for a once-renewable term of two and a half years.[18] The President must report to the European Parliament after each European Council meeting.[4][15]

The post was created by the Treaty of Lisbon and was subject to a debate over its exact role. Prior to Lisbon, the Presidency rotated in accordance with the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.[4][15] The role of that President-in-Office was in no sense (other than protocol) equivalent to an office of a head of state, merely a primus inter pares (first among equals) role among other European heads of government. The President-in-Office was primarily responsible for preparing and chairing the Council meetings, and had no executive powers other than the task of representing the Union externally. Now the leader of the Council Presidency country can still act as president when the permanent president is absent.

Members

  European People's Party (9 + 2 non-voting from the EU institutions)   Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (8)   Party of European Socialists (5)   Independent (3)   Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (2)   Party of the European Left (1)

Council of the EU and European Council

European Council

Member state Representative Member state Representative Member state Representative
European Union

European Union
(non-voting)

1 December 2014
Prime Minister of Poland 2007–2014


Election 2014, 2017
Next by 2019
Donald Tusk (6165309851) (cropped)
President of the European Council
Donald Tusk
(EPPPO)
European Union

European Union
(non-voting)

Member since 1 November 2014
Prime Minister of Luxembourg 1995–2013


Election 2014
Next in 2019
Ioannes Claudius Juncker die 7 Martis 2014
President of the European Commission
Jean-Claude Juncker
(EPPCSV)
Austria

Republic of Austria
(1.71% of population)[a 1]

Member since 18 December 2017

Election 2017
Next by 2022
Sebastian Kurz crop-edit
Federal Chancellor
Sebastian Kurz
(EPPÖVP)
Belgium

Kingdom of Belgium
(2.21% of population)

Member since 11 October 2014

Election 2014
Next by 2019
Vladimir Putin and Charles Michel (2018-01-31) 01 (cropped)
Prime Minister
Charles Michel
(ALDEMR)
Bulgaria

Republic of Bulgaria
(1.39% of population)

Member since 4 May 2017
Prime Minister 2009–2013; 2014–2017


Election 2009, 2014, 2017
Next by 2021
Boyko Borissov 2017-11-03
Prime Minister
Boyko Borisov
(EPPGERB)
Croatia

Republic of Croatia
(0.81% of population)

Member since 19 October 2016

Election 2016
Next by 2020
PM Andrej Plenković (cropped)
Prime Minister
Andrej Plenković
(EPPHDZ)
Cyprus

Republic of Cyprus
(0.17% of population)

Member since 28 February 2013

Election 2013, 2018
Next by 2023
Nicos Anastasiades at EPP HQ
President
Nicos Anastasiades
(EPPDISY)
Czech Republic

Czech Republic
(2.04% of population)

Member since 13 December 2017

Election 2017
Next by 2021
A Babiš Praha 2015
Prime Minister
Andrej Babiš
(ALDEANO)
Denmark

Kingdom of Denmark
(1.12% of population)

Member since 28 June 2015
Prime Minister 2009–2011


Election 2015
Next by 2019
Lars Løkke Rasmussen - 2018 (MUS6631) (cropped)
Prime Minister
Lars Løkke Rasmussen
(ALDEV)
Estonia

Republic of Estonia
(0.26% of population)

Member since 23 November 2016

Election 2019
Next by 2023
Jüri Ratas 2017-05-25 (cropped)
Prime Minister
Jüri Ratas
(ALDEEK)
Finland

Republic of Finland
(1.07% of population)

Member since 29 May 2015

Election 2015
Next by 2019
Tallinn Digital Summit. Handshake Juha Sipilä (2017)
Prime Minister
Juha Sipilä
(ALDEC)
France

French Republic
(13.09% of population)

Member since 14 May 2017

Election 2017
Next by 2022
Emmanuel Macron in July 2017
President
Emmanuel Macron
(Ind. – REM)
Germany

Federal Republic of Germany
(16.10% of population)

Member since 22 November 2005

Election 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017
Next by 2021
Angela Merkel. Tallinn Digital Summit
Federal Chancellor
Angela Merkel
(EPPCDU)
Greece

Hellenic Republic
(2.10% of population)

Member since 25 September 2015
Prime Minister 2015


Election 2015, 2015
Next by 2019
Alexis Tsipras 2015 (cropped)
Prime Minister
Alexis Tsipras
(PELSyriza)
Hungary

Hungary
(1.91% of population)

Member since 29 May 2010
Prime Minister 1998–2002


Election 1998, 2010, 2014, 2018
Next by 2022
Viktor Orbán 2018
Prime Minister
Viktor Orbán
(EPPFidesz)
Republic of Ireland

Ireland
(0.93% of population)

Member since 14 June 2017

Next by 2022
Leo Varadkar 2016
Taoiseach
Leo Varadkar
(EPPFG)
Italy

Italian Republic
(11.95% of population)

Member since 1 June 2018

Election 2018
Next by 2023
Giuseppe Conte Official (cropped)
Prime Minister
Giuseppe Conte
(Ind. – Ind.)
Latvia

Republic of Latvia
(0.38% of population)

Member since 23 January 2019

Election 2018
Next by 2022
Karins, Krisjanis-9702
Prime Minister
Krišjānis Kariņš
(EPPV)
Lithuania

Republic of Lithuania
(0.56% of population)

Member since 12 July 2009

Election 2009, 2014
Next by 2019
Dalia Grybauskaitė 2013-11-17
President
Dalia Grybauskaitė
(Ind. – Ind.)
Luxembourg

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
(0.12% of population)

Member since 4 December 2013

Election 2013, 2018
Next by 2023
Tallinn Digital Summit. Handshake Xavier Bettel and Jüri Ratas (36718144533) CROP BETTEL
Prime Minister
Xavier Bettel
(ALDEDP)
Malta

Republic of Malta
(0.09% of population)

Member since 11 March 2013

Election 2013, 2017
Next by 2022
Joseph Muscat, cropped
Prime Minister
Joseph Muscat
(PESPL)
Netherlands

Kingdom of the Netherlands
(3.36% of population)

Member since 14 October 2010

Election 2010, 2012, 2017
Next by 2021
Mark Rutte 2015 (1) (cropped)
Prime Minister
Mark Rutte
(ALDEVVD)
Poland

Republic of Poland
(7.41% of population)

Member since 11 December 2017

Next by 2019
2018-07-04 Mateusz Morawiecki-0603 (cropped)
Prime Minister
Mateusz Morawiecki
(ACREPiS)
Portugal

Portuguese Republic
(2.01% of population)

Member since 26 November 2015

Next by 2019
António Costa 12.ª Cimeira Brasil-Portugal 2016-11-01
Prime Minister
António Costa
(PESPS)
Romania

Romania
(3.83% of population)

Member since 21 December 2014

Election 2014
Next by 2019
Klaus Iohannis Senate of Poland 2015 02 (cropped 2)
President
Klaus Iohannis
(EPP[a 2] – Ind.[a 3])
Slovakia

Slovak Republic
(1.06% of population)

Member since 22 March 2018

Next by 2020
Jakou Evropskou unii chceme v sále Morava 2018-05-26 (6835) Pellegrini
Prime Minister
Peter Pellegrini
(PESSmer–SD)
Slovenia

Republic of Slovenia
(0.40% of population)

Member since 13 September 2018

Election 2018
Next by 2022
Marjan Šarec in Logatec 2017
Prime Minister
Marjan Šarec
(ALDELMŠ)
Spain

Kingdom of Spain
(9.08% of population)

Member since 2 June 2018

Election 2019
Next by 2023
Pedro Sánchez in 2018d
Prime Minister
Pedro Sánchez
(PESPSOE)
Sweden

Kingdom of Sweden
(1.97% of population)

Member since 3 October 2014

Election 2014, 2018
Next by 2022
Tallinn Digital Summit. Handshake Stefan Löfven and Jüri Ratas (36718147193) (cropped)
Prime Minister
Stefan Löfven
(PESSAP)
United Kingdom

United Kingdom
of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland

(12.85% of population)

Member since 13 July 2016

Election 2017[a 4]
Theresa May closeup

Prime Minister
Theresa May
(ACREC)

Notes
  1. ^ Used in the calculation of the qualified majority voting. The share of the total population is based on the decision of the Council of the European Union on Member States populations for 2018
  2. ^ Considered an EPP member according to its official webpage.
  3. ^ Previously leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL) and supported by them during his election campaign, Iohannis is officially unaffiliated during his presidency according to the Constitution.
  4. ^ Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, the next general election is scheduled for 2022. The United Kingdom is expected to have left the European Union prior to this date, unless an early election is called or the negotiation period is extended.

Political parties

Party affiliations in the European Council (1 July 2018)
The states of the European Union by the European party affiliations of their leaders, as of 20 May 2019
Does not account for coalitions. Key to colours is as follows;

Almost all members of the European Council are members of a political party at national level, and most of these are members of a European-level political party. These frequently hold pre-meetings of their European Council members, prior to its meetings. However, the European Council is composed to represent the EU's states rather than political parties and decisions are generally made on these lines, though ideological alignment can colour their political agreements and their choice of appointments (such as their president).

The table below outlines the number of leaders affiliated to each party and their total voting weight. The map to the right indicates the alignment of each individual country.

Party Number of seats Share of EU population
European People's Party 9 27.23%
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party 8 10.59%
Party of European Socialists 5 14.21%
Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe 2 20.26%
Party of the European Left 1 2.10%
Independent 3 25.60%
Total 28 100%

Seat and meetings

The European Council is required by Article 15.3 TEU to meet at least twice every six months, but convenes more frequently in practice.[19][20] Despite efforts to contain business, meetings typically last for at least two days, and run long into the night.[20]

Until 2002, the venue for European Council summits was the member state that held the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union. However, European leaders agreed during ratification of the Nice Treaty to forego this arrangement at such a time as the total membership of the European Union surpassed 18 member states.[21] An advanced implementation of this agreement occurred in 2002, with certain states agreeing to waive their right to host meetings, favouring Brussels as the location.[22] Following the growth of the EU to 25 member states, with the 2004 enlargement, all subsequent official summits of the European Council have been in Brussels, with the exception of punctuated ad hoc meetings, such as the 2017 informal European Council in Malta.[23] The logistical, environmental, financial and security arrangements of hosting large summits are usually cited as the primary factors in the decision by EU leaders to move towards a permanent seat for the European Council.[7] Additionally, some scholars argue that the move, when coupled with the formalisation of the European Council in the Lisbon Treaty, represents an institutionalisation of an ad hoc EU organ that had its origins in Luxembourg compromise, with national leaders reasserting their dominance as the EU's "supreme political authority".[7]

Originally, both the European Council and the Council of the European Union utilised the Justus Lipsius building as their Brussels venue. In order to make room for additional meeting space a number of renovations were made, including the conversion of an underground carpark into additional press briefing rooms.[24] However, in 2004 leaders decided the logistical problems created by the outdated facilities warranted the construction of a new purpose built seat able to cope with the nearly 6,000 meetings, working groups, and summits per year.[5] This resulted in the Europa building, which opened its doors in 2017. The focal point of the new building, the distinctive multi-storey "lantern-shaped" structure in which the main meeting room is located, is utilised in both the European Council's and Council of the European Union's official logos.[25]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union" (PDF).
  2. ^ Art. 13 et seq of the Treaty on European Union
  3. ^ Gilbert, Mark (2003). Surpassing Realism – The Politics of European Integration since 1945 (page 219: Making Sense of Maastricht). Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780742519145. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "EUROPA – The European Council: Presidency Conclusions". European Commission. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  5. ^ a b "EUROPA : Home of the European Council and the Council of the EU - Consilium". www.consilium.europa.eu. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  6. ^ Art. 15(4) of the Treaty on European Union
  7. ^ a b c d e f Stark, Christine. "Evolution of the European Council: The implications of a permanent seat" (PDF). Dragoman.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 July 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2007.
  8. ^ On the economic problems, see Imbrogno, Anthony (2016). "The Founding of the European Council: economic reform and the mechanism of continuous negotiation". Journal of European Integration 38 no.6, pp.719-736. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07036337.2016.1188925
  9. ^ "EU Security Policy & the role of the European Commission". European Commission. Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
  10. ^ Wikisource: Article 2(3)(e), Treaty of Lisbon
  11. ^ a b c "The Union's institutions: The European Council". Europa (web portal). 21 February 2001. Retrieved 12 July 2007.
  12. ^ "BBC News — Belgian PM Van Rompuy is named as new EU president". 20 November 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  13. ^ Peers, Steve (2 August 2007). "EU Reform Treaty Analysis no. 2.2: Foreign policy provisions of the revised text of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU)" (PDF). Statewatch. Retrieved 26 September 2007.
  14. ^ Peers, Steve (2 August 2007). "EU Reform Treaty analysis 1: JHA provisions" (PDF). Statewatch. Retrieved 26 September 2007.
  15. ^ a b c "How does the EU work". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 12 July 2007.
  16. ^ "Finnish Conservatives name Stubb foreign minister". new Room Finland. 1 April 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2008.
  17. ^ Phillips, Leigh (29 August 2008). "Spats over who gets to go to EU summit break out in Poland, Finland". EU Observer. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
  18. ^ "European Council: The President's role". Retrieved 21 March 2015. The President the European Council is elected by the European Council by a qualified majority. He is elected for a 2.5 year term, which is renewable once.
  19. ^ Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union.
  20. ^ a b "The European Council – the who, what, where, how and why – UK in a changing Europe". ukandeu.ac.uk. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  21. ^ Treaty of Nice.
  22. ^ "Permanent seat for the European Council could change the EU's nature". EURACTIV.com. 18 September 2002. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  23. ^ "Informal meeting of EU heads of state or government, Malta, 03/02/2017 - Consilium". www.consilium.europa.eu. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  24. ^ "Why PMs won't miss going to EU Council summits". Sky News. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  25. ^ "New HQ, new logo". POLITICO. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2017.

Further reading

External links

CERN

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (French: Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire), known as CERN (; French pronunciation: ​[sɛʁn]; derived from the name Conseil européen pour la recherche nucléaire), is a European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Established in 1954, the organization is based in a northwest suburb of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border and has 23 member states. Israel is the only non-European country granted full membership. CERN is an official United Nations Observer.The acronym CERN is also used to refer to the laboratory, which in 2016 had 2,500 scientific, technical, and administrative staff members, and hosted about 12,000 users. In the same year, CERN generated 49 petabytes of data.CERN's main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research – as a result, numerous experiments have been constructed at CERN through international collaborations. The main site at Meyrin hosts a large computing facility, which is primarily used to store and analyse data from experiments, as well as simulate events. Researchers need remote access to these facilities, so the lab has historically been a major wide area network hub. CERN is also the birthplace of the World Wide Web.

Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union, referred to in the treaties and other official documents simply as the Council, is the third of the seven Institutions of the European Union (EU) as listed in the Treaty on European Union. It is one of three legislative bodies and together with the European Parliament serves to amend and approve the proposals of the European Commission. The Council represents the executive governments of the EU's member states and is based in the Europa building in Brussels.The Council of the European Union and the European Council are the only EU institutions that are explicitly intergovernmental, that is forums whose attendees express and represent the position of their member state's executive, be they ambassadors, ministers or heads of state/government.

Donald Tusk

Donald Franciszek Tusk (; Polish: [ˈdɔnalt franˈt͡ɕiʂɛk ˈtusk] (listen); born 22 April 1957) is a Polish politician who has been the President of the European Council since 2014. He served as Prime Minister of Poland from 2007 to 2014 and was a co-founder and chairman of the Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska) political party.Tusk has been involved in Polish politics since the early 1990s, having founded several political parties and held elected office almost continuously since 1991. Tusk was one of the co-founders of the free-market-oriented Liberal Democratic Congress party. He entered the Sejm (lower chamber of Poland's parliament) in 1991, but lost his seat in the 1993 election which went badly for the Congress.

In 1994, the Congress merged with the Democratic Union to form the Freedom Union. In 1997, Tusk was elected to the Senate, and became its deputy speaker. In 2001, he co-founded another centre-right party, Civic Platform (PO), and he was again elected to the Sejm, and became its deputy speaker.He was elected Prime Minister in 2007 and with his party's victory in the 2011 Polish parliamentary election, he became the first Prime Minister to be re-elected since the fall of Communism in Poland. In 2014, he became President of the European Council, and was re-elected to this position in 2017. He resigned as Polish Prime Minister to take the role, having been the longest-serving Prime Minister of the Third Polish Republic.

European Commission

The European Commission (EC) is an institution of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg City, pledging to respect the treaties and to be completely independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate. Unlike in the Council of the European Union, where members are directly and indirectly elected, and the European Parliament, where members are directly elected, the Commissioners are proposed by the Council of the European Union, on the basis of suggestions made by the national governments, and then appointed by the European Council after the approval of the European Parliament.

The Commission operates as a cabinet government, with 28 members of the Commission (informally known as "commissioners"). There is one member per member state, but members are bound by their oath of office to represent the general interest of the EU as a whole rather than their home state. One of the 28 is the Commission President (currently Jean-Claude Juncker) proposed by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament. The Council of the European Union then nominates the other 27 members of the Commission in agreement with the nominated President, and the 28 members as a single body are then subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament. The current Commission is the Juncker Commission, which took office in late 2014, following the European Parliament elections in May of the same year.

The term Commission is variously used, either in the narrow sense of the 28-member College of Commissioners (or College) or to also include the administrative body of about 32,000 European civil servants who are split into departments called directorates-general and services. The procedural languages of the Commission are English, French and German.

The Members of the Commission and their "cabinets" (immediate teams) are based in the Berlaymont building in Brussels.

European Council on Foreign Relations

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) is a pan-European think tank with offices in seven European capitals. Launched in October 2007, it conducts research on European foreign and security policy and provides a meeting space for decision-makers, activists and influencers to share ideas. ECFR builds coalitions for change at the European level and promotes informed debate about Europe’s role in the world. ECFR has offices in Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Warsaw and Sofia.

ECFR was founded in 2007 by Mark Leonard together with a council of fifty founding members, chaired by Martti Ahtisaari, Joschka Fischer, and Mabel van Oranje, with initial funding from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the Communitas Foundation, Sigrid Rausing, Unicredit and Fride.ECFR's Council brings together over 300 Europeans from across Europe. Currently chaired by Carl Bildt, Emma Bonino and Mabel van Oranje, ECFR's strategic community includes serving foreign ministers, former prime ministers, members of national parliaments and European Parliament, EU Commissioners, former NATO secretaries generals, thinkers, journalists and business leaders. The Council gathers once a year as a full body for the Annual Council Meeting, hosted in a different European capital each year. The Council is the strongest and most visible expression of ECFR's pan-European identity.

European People's Party

The European People's Party (EPP) is a European political party with conservative and liberal-conservative member parties. A transnational organisation, it is composed of other political parties, not individuals. Founded by primarily Christian democratic parties in 1976, it has since broadened its membership to include liberal-conservative parties and parties with other centre-right political perspectives.The EPP has been the largest party in the European Parliament since 1999 and in the European Council since 2002. It is also by far the largest party in the current European Commission. The President of the European Council, President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament are all from the EPP. Many of the Founding fathers of the European Union were also from parties that later formed the EPP. Outside the EU the party also controls a majority in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The EPP has alternated with its centre-left rival the Party of European Socialists (PES) as the largest European political party and parliamentary group.

The EPP includes major centre-right parties such as the CDU/CSU of Germany, The Republicans of France, CD&V of Belgium, KDU-ČSL of the Czech Republic, Fine Gael of Ireland, New Democracy of Greece, Forza Italia of Italy, the People's Party (PP) of Spain, the Social Democratic Party of Portugal, the Civic Platform of Poland but also Fidesz of Hungary (a party criticised for its authoritarianism and its nationalist views).

European Union

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It has an area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.

The EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), established, respectively, by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome. The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal.

Containing 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting approximately 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a very high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence. The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower.

European political party

A European political party (formally, a political party at European level; informally a Europarty) is a type of political party organisation operating transnationally in Europe and in the institutions of the European Union. They are regulated and funded by the European Union and are usually made up of national parties, not individuals. Europarties have the exclusive right to campaign during the European elections and express themselves within the European Parliament by their affiliated political groups and their MEPs. Europarties, through coordination meetings with their affiliated heads of state and government, influence the decision-making process of the European Council. Europarties also work closely and co-ordinate with their affiliated members of the European Commission and, according to the Lisbon Treaty the Europarty that wins the European elections has the right to nominate to the European Council its candidate for President of the European Commission.The term "political party in the EU" can mean three different types of entities: domestic political parties, political groups in the European Parliament, and European political parties.

Fauna Europaea

Fauna Europaea is a database of the scientific names and distribution of all living multicellular European land and fresh-water animals. It serves as a standard taxonomic source for animal taxonomy within the Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure (PESI).Its construction was initially funded by the European Council (2000–2004). The project was co-ordinated by the University of Amsterdam which launched the first version in 2004, after which the database was transferred to the Natural History Museum Berlin in 2015.

Herman Van Rompuy

Herman Achille, Count Van Rompuy (Dutch: Herman Achille, Graaf Van Rompuy, pronounced [ˈɦɛrmɑn vɑn ˈrɔmpœy] (listen); born 31 October 1947) is a Belgian politician, who formerly served as Prime Minister of Belgium and then as the first President of the European Council.

A politician from Belgium's Christian Democratic and Flemish party, Van Rompuy served as the 49th prime minister of Belgium from 30 December 2008 until Yves Leterme (who was also his predecessor) succeeded him on 25 November 2009. On 19 November 2009 Van Rompuy was selected by the members of the European Council, which is the institution of the European Union (EU) comprising the heads of state or government of the EU member states, as the first full-time President of that Council under the Treaty of Lisbon. He was appointed for the period from 1 December 2009 until 31 May 2012, though he only took up his position officially on 1 January 2010. On 1 March 2012 he was re-elected for a second (and last) term, to last from 1 June 2012 until 30 November 2014.

Institutions of the European Union

The institutions of the European Union are the seven principal decision making bodies of the European Union (EU). They are, as listed in Article 13 of the Treaty on European Union:

the European Parliament,

the European Council,

the Council of the European Union,

the European Commission,

the Court of Justice of the European Union,

the European Central Bank and

the Court of Auditors.Institutions are distinct from advisory bodies to the European Union, and agencies of the European Union.

Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker (Luxembourgish: [ʒɑ̃ːkloːt ˈjuŋkɐ]; born 9 December 1954) is a Luxembourger politician serving as President of the European Commission since 2014. From 1995 to 2013 he served as the 23rd Prime Minister of Luxembourg; from 1989 to 2009 he was also Minister for Finances.

By the time he left office, he was the longest-serving head of any national government in the EU, and one of the longest-serving democratically elected leaders in the world, his tenure encompassing the height of the European financial and sovereign debt crisis. From 2005 to 2013, Juncker served as the first permanent President of the Eurogroup.

In 2014, the European People's Party (EPP) had Juncker as its lead candidate, or Spitzenkandidat, for the presidency of the Commission in the 2014 elections. This marked the first time that the Spitzenkandidat process was employed. Juncker is the first president that prior to the election has campaigned as a candidate for the position, a process introduced with the Treaty of Lisbon. The EPP won 220 out of 751 seats in the Parliament. On 27 June 2014, the European Council officially nominated Juncker for the position, and on 15 July 2014, the European Parliament elected him with a majority of 422 votes from a total of 729 cast. He succeeded José Manuel Barroso as President on 1 November 2014. Juncker stated that his priorities would be the creation of a digital single market, the development of an EU Energy Union, the negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade Agreement, the continued reform of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union—with the social dimension in mind—and a "targeted fiscal capacity" for the Eurozone, as well as to negotiate a new deal with Britain.

List of European Council meetings

This is a list of meetings of the European Council (informally referred to as EU summits); the meetings of the European Council, an institution of the European Union (EU) comprising heads of state or government of EU member states. They started in 1975 as tri-annual meetings. The number of meetings grew to minimum four per year between 1996 and 2007, and minimum six per year since 2008. From 2008 to 2015, an average of seven council meetings per year took place (see list below).

Since 2008, an annual average of two special Euro summits were also organized in addition - and often in parallel - to the EU summits. As the agenda of Euro summits is restricted solely to discuss issues for the eurozone and only invite political leaders of the eurozone member states, such meetings are not counted as European Councils.

Party of European Socialists

The Party of European Socialists (PES) is a social-democratic European political party.The PES comprises national-level political parties from all member states of the European Union (EU) plus Norway. This includes major parties such as the Italian Democratic Party, the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party, Social Democratic Party of Germany and the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party. Parties from a number of other European countries are also admitted to the PES as associate or observer parties. Most member, associate and observer parties are members of the wider Progressive Alliance or Socialist International.The PES is currently led by its president Sergei Stanishev, a former Prime Minister of Bulgaria. Its political group in the European Parliament is the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D). The PES also operates in the Committee of the Regions (in the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions) and the European Council.

President of the European Commission

The President of the European Commission is the head of the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union. The President of the Commission leads a cabinet of Commissioners, referred to as the college, collectively accountable to the European Parliament. The President is empowered to allocate portfolios amongst, reshuffle or dismiss Commissioners as necessary. The college directs the Commission's civil service, sets the policy agenda and determines the legislative proposals it produces (the Commission is the only body that can propose EU laws).

The President of the Commission also represents the EU abroad, together with the President of the European Council and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The post was established in 1958. Each new President is nominated by the European Council and formally elected by the European Parliament, for a five-year term. As of 2019, the current President is Jean-Claude Juncker, who took office on 1 November 2014. He is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and is the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg. Juncker is the twelfth President and his First Vice-President is Frans Timmermans.

President of the European Council

The President of the European Council is the person presiding over and driving forward the work of the European Council, as well as a principal representative of the European Union (EU) on the world stage. This institution comprises the college of heads of state or government of EU member states as well as the President of the European Commission, and provides political direction to the European Union (EU).

From 1975 to 2009, the head of the European Council was an unofficial position (often referred to as the President-in-Office) held by the head of state or government of the member state holding the semiannually rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union at any given time. However, since the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon, article 15 of Treaty on European Union states that the European Council appoints a full-time president for a two-and-a-half-year term, with the possibility of renewal once. Appointments, as well as the removal of incumbents, require a double majority support in the European Council.

On 19 November 2009, the European Council agreed that its first president under the Lisbon Treaty would be Herman Van Rompuy (European People's Party, Belgium). Van Rompuy took office when the Lisbon Treaty came into force on 1 December 2009 with a term stretching until 31 May 2012. His term was later extended with a second period ending on 30 November 2014.

The second and current president is former Polish prime minister Donald Tusk. He was originally elected to serve a term from 1 December 2014 to 31 May 2017 and subsequently reelected on 9 March 2017 to a second term running from 1 June 2017 until 30 November 2019.

Seville Declarations on the Treaty of Nice

On 21 June 2002, the Irish Government made a National Declaration at the Seville European Council emphasising its commitment to the European Union's security and defence policy.

Treaty of Lisbon

The Treaty of Lisbon (initially known as the Reform Treaty) is an international agreement that amends the two treaties which form the constitutional basis of the European Union (EU). The Treaty of Lisbon was signed by the EU member states on 13 December 2007, and entered into force on 1 December 2009. It amends the Maastricht Treaty (1992), known in updated form as the Treaty on European Union (2007) or TEU, and the Treaty of Rome (1957), known in updated form as the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (2007) or TFEU. It also amends the attached treaty protocols as well as the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM).

Prominent changes included the move from unanimity to qualified majority voting in at least 45 policy areas in the Council of Ministers, a change in calculating such a majority to a new double majority, a more powerful European Parliament forming a bicameral legislature alongside the Council of Ministers under the ordinary legislative procedure, a consolidated legal personality for the EU and the creation of a long-term President of the European Council and a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Treaty also made the Union's bill of rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, legally binding. The Treaty for the first time gave member states the explicit legal right to leave the EU, and established a procedure by which to do so.

The stated aim of the treaty was to "complete the process started by the Treaty of Amsterdam [1997] and by the Treaty of Nice [2001] with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and to improving the coherence of its action". Opponents of the Treaty of Lisbon, such as former Danish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Jens-Peter Bonde, argued that it would centralize the EU, and weaken democracy by "moving power away" from national electorates. Supporters argue that it brings more checks and balances into the EU system, with stronger powers for the European Parliament and a new role for national parliaments.

Negotiations to modify EU institutions began in 2001, resulting first in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, which would have repealed the existing European treaties and replaced them with a "constitution". Although ratified by a majority of member states, this was abandoned after being rejected by 55% of French voters on 29 May 2005 and then by 61% of Dutch voters on 1 June 2005. After a "period of reflection", member states agreed instead to maintain the existing treaties, but to amend them, salvaging a number of the reforms that had been envisaged in the constitution. An amending "reform" treaty was drawn up and signed in Lisbon in 2007. It was originally intended to have been ratified by all member states by the end of 2008. This timetable failed, primarily due to the initial rejection of the Treaty in June 2008 by the Irish electorate, a decision which was reversed in a second referendum in October 2009 after Ireland secured a number of concessions related to the treaty.

United World Wrestling

United World Wrestling (UWW) is the international governing body for the sport of amateur wrestling; its duties include overseeing wrestling at the Olympics. It presides over international competitions for various forms of wrestling, including Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling for men and women, as well as others. The flagship event of UWW is the Wrestling World Championships. It was formerly known as the FILA (French: Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées, lit. 'International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles'), having assumed its current name in September 2014.

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