Council of the European Union

Conseil de l'Union européenne
Consejo le la Unión Europea
Rat der Europäischen Union
Conselho da União Europeia
Consiglio dell'Unione Europea
Raad van de Europese Unie
Europeiska Unionens Råd
Rådet for Den Europaeske Union
Euroopan Unionin Neuvosto
Comhairle an Aontais Eorpaigh
Rada Evropské Unie
Rada Európskej Unie
Az Európai Unió Tanacsa
Rada Unii Europejskiej
Svet Evropske Unije
Euroopa Liidu Nõukogu
Eiropas Savienibas Padome
Europos Sajungos Taryba
Kunsill ta' I-Unjoni Ewropea
Vijece Europske Unije
Consiliul Uniunii Europene

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Sep 1952, as Council of the European Coal and Steel Community, the H-XD0663 - European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) having been created by the T-XT5133 - Treaty Establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (Treaty of Paris). Council of the European Economic Community and Council of the European Atomic Energy Community were created, Jan 1958, under twin Treaties, Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community (Treaty of Rome) and T-XT5766 - Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Treaty of Rome), establishing 'European Economic Community (EEC)' - subsequently called H-XD0665 - European Community - and H-XD0666 - European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). Since Jul 1967, when the 'Merger' Treaty of 8 Apr 1965 came into force, Council functions as a single entity, originally referred to as Council of the European Communities -- Conseil des Communautés européennes -- Consejo de las Comunidades Europeas -- Rat der Europäischen Gemeinschaften -- Conselho das Comunidades Européias -- Consiglio delle Comunità Europee -- Raad van de Europese Gemeenschappen -- Rådet for de Europaeiske Faellesskaber -- Simvulio ton Evropaikon Kinotiton, an organ common to the three European Communities: ECSC, EEC and Euratom. Council formerly also known as Council of Ministers of the European Communities -- Conseil des ministres des Communautés européennes. No formal merger of the 3 European Communities ever took place, but there were good reasons for regarding them as one unit so far as their political and legal structure was concerned. Not only were they managed by common institutions, but in common usage they were frequently referred to collectively as 'European Community', an approach adopted by the European Parliament in a resolution of 16 Feb 1978. The ECSC ceased to exist in Jul 2002, following expiration of the Paris Treaty; the European Community then became responsible for the steel sector.

The T-XT8633 - Single European Act (SEA), signed Feb 1986, ratified by national parliaments by 31 Mar 1987 and came into force 1 Jul 1987, strengthened Community decision-making by expanding majority voting, in particular with respect to completion of the European internal market, research and technology, regional policy, and improvement of the working environment. The T-XT9113 - Treaty on European Union (Maastricht Treaty) of 7 Feb 1992 culminated efforts towards closer union with the establishment of F-XF2147 - European Union (EU), expanding the concept of the European Communities - which became the Union's first "pillar", and confirmed the activities of the Council as set out in this and previous acts and treaties. The Council's current title was formally adopted on 9 Nov 1993; also known as Council of Ministers of the European Union -- Conseil des ministres de l'Union européenne, or simply 'Council of Ministers -- Conseil des ministres'. The Maastricht Treaty also officially replaced the term 'European Economic Community' by 'European Community' in the treaties setting up the EEC and makes the Council responsible, with the E-XE2442 - European Commission (EC), for ensuring consistency and implementation of policies. T-XT9706 - Treaty of Amsterdam, signed 2 Oct 1997 following agreement among the Heads of State and Government meeting as the European Council, 16-17 Jun 1997, Amsterdam (Netherlands), gives the European Union full legal personality and allows it to negotiate as one entity. The Laeken Declaration, signed by members of the European Council 15 Dec 2001, Brussels (Belgium), and the associated U-XF6255 - Convention on the Future of Europe, looked forward to the creation of an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ). The Convention completed its work 10 Jul 2003. T-XT2073 - Treaty of Lisbon gave further power to the European Union, abolished the European Community, redesigned part of the Council's structure, and renamed original Treaty of Rome to the T-XT5765 - Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Together with F-XF0667 - European Parliament (EP), serves as the Eu's main decision-making body.


Negotiate and adopt EU laws; coordinate member states' policies; develop the EU's common foreign and security policy; conclude international agreements; adopt the EU budget.


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Comprises government ministers from each EU country, according to the policy area to be discussed. As a single legal entity, it can meet in 10 different configurations, depending on the subject being discussed: Agriculture and fisheries; Competitiveness; Economic and financial affairs (Ecofin); Education, youth, culture and sport; Employment, social policy, health and consumer affairs; Environment; Foreign affairs; General Affairs; Justice and home affairs; Transport, telecommunications and energy. No hierarchy among Council configurations, although General Affairs has special coordination role, with Foreign Affairs Council also having special remit. Council meetings attended by representatives from each member state at ministerial level, with European Commissioners responsible for the areas concerned also invited. E-XF2923 - European Central Bank (ECB) is invited when they launched the legislative procedure. Meetings chaired by minister of member state holding the 6-month Council presidency. Foreign Affairs Council is usually chaired by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Decisions taken by simple majority, qualified majority or unanimous vote, depending on decision. Member states holding the current and next 2 Presidencies make up the 'trio'. E-XE3606 - Eurogroup usually meets on eve of Ecofin meeting. The Council is supported by E-XE4101 - Committee of Permanent Representatives to the European Union and over 150 highly specialized working parties and committees, known as the 'Council preparatory bodies'. General Secretariat of the Council - shared with E-XE7976 - European Council - assists the Council.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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