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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 a