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Current membership of the European Council

10-12-2019

The European Council consists of the 28 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began. This publication is updated periodically to reflect changes in the European Council's ...

The European Council consists of the 28 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began. This publication is updated periodically to reflect changes in the European Council's membership.

Zimbabwe's post-electoral challenges

13-09-2018

As international isolation is no longer economically bearable, Zimbabwe has been searching for legitimacy on the global stage. The post-Mugabe transition government, from a ruling party fraction, committed itself to free and fair elections and invited international observers for first time in 16 years. But much-awaited change in Zimbabwe needs much more than a newly elected president and legislature. The country suffers from institutional dysfunction driven by years of a de facto one-party, military-backed ...

As international isolation is no longer economically bearable, Zimbabwe has been searching for legitimacy on the global stage. The post-Mugabe transition government, from a ruling party fraction, committed itself to free and fair elections and invited international observers for first time in 16 years. But much-awaited change in Zimbabwe needs much more than a newly elected president and legislature. The country suffers from institutional dysfunction driven by years of a de facto one-party, military-backed regime, characterised by rampant corruption and systematic patronage, securing the capture of key economic areas and political institutions by party elites. The victory of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), in both the legislative and presidential elections, and the deadly crackdown on the opposition that followed, seriously undermine the prospects for genuine Zimbabwean democracy. Although international observers assessed the electoral process as relatively free and competitive, it took place on an uneven playing field due to years of ZANU-PF domination. EU observers, in particular, expressed strong concern regarding the intimidation of voters, the pro-state bias of the media, and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's (ZEC) lack of transparency. Some observers have indeed warned that the ousting of Robert Mugabe, which had raised so many hopes, was just part of a power reshuffle inside Zimbabwe's authoritarian regime, meant to protect the interests of the governing elites. Indeed, powerful forces obstruct change in Zimbabwe, seeking the sole preservation of their economic interests in the renewed political context. It is likely that the newly-elected President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, will pursue some economic reform, especially to attract foreign investors, while maintaining political control from above. In this situation, the EU, having declared its readiness to fully re-engage with Zimbabwe, has to use every lever to induce structural changes and to support civil society in this deeply corrupt and dysfunctional state.

European Council: Facts and Figures

05-07-2018

The European Council brings together the Heads of State or Government of the 28 EU Member States, and seeks to set the overall direction and priorities of the European Union. This Briefing provides some of the main facts and figures on different aspects of this key institution, detailing its membership, political make-up over time, historical development and roles, as well as the main topics on its agenda, and the number and format of its meetings

The European Council brings together the Heads of State or Government of the 28 EU Member States, and seeks to set the overall direction and priorities of the European Union. This Briefing provides some of the main facts and figures on different aspects of this key institution, detailing its membership, political make-up over time, historical development and roles, as well as the main topics on its agenda, and the number and format of its meetings

Future of Europe debates: Parliament hosts Heads of State or Government

08-06-2018

Against the background of the many challenges which the European Union has faced in recent years, the European Parliament has taken the lead in launching and hosting a series of high-profile debates on the Future of Europe, intended to run for the whole of 2018. While the Heads of State or Government of countries holding the rotating presidency of the Council – this year, Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria and Sebastian Kurz of Austria – routinely debate with MEPs in plenary, the leaders of other EU Member ...

Against the background of the many challenges which the European Union has faced in recent years, the European Parliament has taken the lead in launching and hosting a series of high-profile debates on the Future of Europe, intended to run for the whole of 2018. While the Heads of State or Government of countries holding the rotating presidency of the Council – this year, Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria and Sebastian Kurz of Austria – routinely debate with MEPs in plenary, the leaders of other EU Member States are now able to set out publicly their vision for Europe's future in a dialogue with the only directly elected European institution, during its plenary sittings. This process is all the more important at a time when the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the next seven years is being discussed: the choices surrounding the MFF and the direction in which the EU decides to develop are intrinsically linked. So far, at the invitation of its President, Antonio Tajani, the European Parliament has hosted the leaders of six Member States in the context of these 'Future of Europe' debates, welcoming the prime ministers of Ireland (Taoiseach), Leo Varadkar; Croatia, Andrej Plenković; and Portugal, António Costa; the President of France, Emmanuel Macron; and the prime ministers of Belgium, Charles Michel; and Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel. This Briefing provides an overview of where the Future of Europe debate stands in a number of key policy areas, such as economic and monetary union (EMU), the EU's social dimension, migration policy, security and defence, and broader institutional issues. It takes stock of the views expressed by those EU Heads of State or Government who have intervened in the debate so far, on how these areas might develop in the future.

From Rome to Sibiu

12-04-2018

The purpose of this paper is to assess the follow-up and delivery by the European Council on the priorities that were set in the declaration adopted in Rome on 25 March 2017 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. The analysis shows that in the year since Rome, and a year before the special summit on the Future of Europe debate, due to take place in the Romanian city of Sibiu on 9 May 2019, substantive progress has been made regarding the debate itself and implementation ...

The purpose of this paper is to assess the follow-up and delivery by the European Council on the priorities that were set in the declaration adopted in Rome on 25 March 2017 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. The analysis shows that in the year since Rome, and a year before the special summit on the Future of Europe debate, due to take place in the Romanian city of Sibiu on 9 May 2019, substantive progress has been made regarding the debate itself and implementation of the policy priorities identified in the Bratislava Declaration/Roadmap and the Rome Declaration. The evidence so far suggests that the European Council, as well as the other EU institutions, have followed up on the pledges made in Rome, in an effort to boost the legitimacy of the EU, connect with a disaffected public, and combat Euroscepticism. The Leaders' Agenda, adopted by October 2017, made an important contribution to the Future of Europe debate and, furthermore, was a potentially far-reaching institutional innovation for the European Council. Under the Leaders' Agenda, discussions among the Heads of State or Government now attempt to resolve seemingly intractable policy disputes by means of a new working method. Not only has this helped to operationalise the Rome Declaration, it also seems to have consolidated the European Council's position at the centre of the EU policy-making and agenda-setting framework.

Outcome of the EU leaders' meetings on 22 and 23 March 2018

09-04-2018

On 22 and 23 March 2018, the EU Heads of State or Government convened in four different formations with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular meeting of the European Council, a Leaders' Meeting on taxation, a Euro Summit and a European Council (Article 50) meeting. While economic and competitiveness issues featured, as is traditional, on the agenda of this spring European Council, the discussions focused largely on trade, the Salisbury attack, Turkey and Brexit. The informal leaders ...

On 22 and 23 March 2018, the EU Heads of State or Government convened in four different formations with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular meeting of the European Council, a Leaders' Meeting on taxation, a Euro Summit and a European Council (Article 50) meeting. While economic and competitiveness issues featured, as is traditional, on the agenda of this spring European Council, the discussions focused largely on trade, the Salisbury attack, Turkey and Brexit. The informal leaders' meeting on tax considered ways of adapting European taxation systems to the digital economy and of strengthening the fight against tax evasion and avoidance. At the European Council (Article 50) meeting, the EU-27 Heads of State or Government considered the framework and adopted guidelines for post-Brexit relations with the UK. They also welcomed the agreement reached by the negotiators on parts of the legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement, including the transition period. While there were no formal conclusions at the Euro Summit meeting, participants discussed the long-term development of Economic and Monetary Union and agreed to take relevant decisions in June 2018.

Outcome of the informal meeting of the 27 Heads of State or Government of 23 February 2018

28-02-2018

At an informal meeting on 23 February 2018, 27 Heads of State or Government (the UK did not take part as the discussion were future oriented) discussed two major topics: institutional issues, in particular the future composition of the European Parliament and high-level EU appointments, including the Spitzenkandidaten process, on the one hand, and the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), on the other. Conducted as part of the Leaders' Agenda, the meeting did not produce formal conclusions. ...

At an informal meeting on 23 February 2018, 27 Heads of State or Government (the UK did not take part as the discussion were future oriented) discussed two major topics: institutional issues, in particular the future composition of the European Parliament and high-level EU appointments, including the Spitzenkandidaten process, on the one hand, and the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), on the other. Conducted as part of the Leaders' Agenda, the meeting did not produce formal conclusions. According to post-summit statements by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the idea of a European Parliament with fewer MEPs after Brexit was broadly supported, however Heads of State or Government agreed that there could not be any automaticity in proposing, for President of the European Commission, the lead candidate put forward by the European party having come first at the European elections. As regards the MFF, they expressed the view that reaching an agreement in the European Council by the end of 2018 would be very difficult. Heads of State or Government took the opportunity to address other issues briefly, expressing their support for Cyprus and Greece regarding developments with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean, and urging the Assad regime and its backers to stop the violence in Syria. The European Council President also informed his colleagues that draft guidelines on the future EU-UK relationship will be presented at the 22-23 March European Council meeting.

Current membership of the European Council

11-01-2018

The European Council consists of the 28 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began.

The European Council consists of the 28 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began.

Actions of the African Union against coups d'état

16-11-2017

Created with the objective of promoting democracy and good governance, the African Union has succeeded in creating a robust normative framework for dealing with coups d’état, which have affected many African countries since their independence. However, there is a need to further improve the efficacy and consistency of the AU’s decisions and hone its normative tools.

Created with the objective of promoting democracy and good governance, the African Union has succeeded in creating a robust normative framework for dealing with coups d’état, which have affected many African countries since their independence. However, there is a need to further improve the efficacy and consistency of the AU’s decisions and hone its normative tools.

Argentina ahead of the 2017 mid-term elections

10-10-2017

Since his election in 2015, Argentina's centre-right President, Mauricio Macri, has pursued sweeping domestic and foreign policy reforms, although his 'Let's Change' (Cambiemos) coalition of centre-right and centre-left parties holds only a minority of seats in the bicameral Congress. His presidency has marked a major shift from left-wing populism under his predecessors, Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007-2015), to economic neoliberalism. The mid-term vote on 22 ...

Since his election in 2015, Argentina's centre-right President, Mauricio Macri, has pursued sweeping domestic and foreign policy reforms, although his 'Let's Change' (Cambiemos) coalition of centre-right and centre-left parties holds only a minority of seats in the bicameral Congress. His presidency has marked a major shift from left-wing populism under his predecessors, Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007-2015), to economic neoliberalism. The mid-term vote on 22 October 2017, to renew one third of the Senate and half of the Chamber of Deputies, will reveal whether President Macri has a strong mandate to press ahead with his pro-business policies.

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