Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union (sometimes referred to as the Council of Ministers) is the Union's main decision-making institution. It is a single body, but meets in different "configurations" consisting of the ministers of the Member States responsible for the area of activity on the agenda: foreign affairs, agriculture, industry, transport or whatever. For example, the "General Affairs and External Relations" configuration is made up of foreign affairs ministers, the "Justice and Home Affairs" configuration of justice and home affairs ministers, etc. There are a total of 9 configurations of the council. Each Member State holds the chair for six months on a rotating schedule. Decisions are prepared by the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Member States (Coreper), assisted by working parties of national government officials. The Council is assisted by its General Secretariat. Council decisions under the first pillar are adopted on the basis of Commission proposals.


Web Resources for the Council of the EU