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The European Council

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issaya anivart

on 18 September 2014

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Transcript of The European Council

European Council
Comprised with the heads of the governments in the member states + The President of the European commission.
Cumulated Power of national decision makers
Presidency of EU council rotates every 6 months between the member states. (same as the President of the Council of minister)
Legal nature and characteristic
Before the Lisbon Treaty objected for academic debate
Lisbon Treaty clarified the legal nature of EU Council Institution of the Union (in legal terms)

European Council
Image by Tom Mooring
European Council
The European Council
Special Meeting
Extraordinary Meeting
Informal Meeting
Thematic Meeting

President of the European Council
Herman Van Rompuy
Former Belgium Prime Minister

Key Characteristic
: bring together political personalities who are decision makers
: frequently confrontational
: relatively flexible rules
: the longer present, the more influence
Intergovernmental Character:

Ambivalence Intergovernmental character

All heads government are equal abstract

Ambivalence Intergovernmental character

Some participants are more influential fact
President of the Commission
is not intergovernmental figure
is ,de jure, a member of EU council
Exercised considerable influence on its decision.
Favored supranational integration.

Ambivalence Intergovernmental character

EU council shall exercise NO legislative function. (Lisbon Treaty)
Define the strategic guidelines for legislative and operational planning.
Discuss conclusion on economic policies
Revision treaty
Breaches of human rights

Function beyond the official text
Function beyond the official text
Function beyond the official text
Strategic guidelines
Foreign policy
The open method of coordination
Amending the treaties

Strategic Guidelines
political guidance : form of consistency
between community affairs and
European activities
EX: Rome 1975, Hanover 1988,
Lisbon 2000

Enlargement process
- Copenhagen 1993 on Central and
Eastern European countries
- Brussels 2004 on Turkey

Greek financial crisis 2010
: “Euro area member states will take determined and coordinated action, if needed, to safeguard financial stability in the euro area as a whole.

Function beyond the official text
Decision Making
: a sign of power
- The packages around the financial perspectives of the Union 2007-2013

ฟFunction beyond the official text
Function beyond the official text
Function beyond the official text
Function beyond the official text
Strengths and weaknesses
Strengths and weaknesses
The open method of coordination
It was established by the European Council at Lisbon in March 2000.
The scope for agreement depends on soft prescriptions rather than hard law
A forum for comparing different national experiences and experiments
The classical intergovernmental cooperation + the community method = 'Intensive Transgovernmentalism'
Foreign policy
Formulation of foreign policy has always been one of the primary tasks of the European Council.
The European Council adopts the necessary decisions by unanimity.
The president of the European Council shall convene an extraordinary meeting of the European Council. - Argument : Excessive number of foreign policy declaration
Foreign policy
A means of expressing forcefully common position on international affairs.
'Collective head of state'
Ensuring the external representation of the Union on issues concerning its CFSP
Amending the treaties
The European Council has become the key forum for determining treaty reforms.
In the negotiation of the Single European Act. (SEA ; 1985-86)
In the Maastricht negotiations (1990-91)
In the Amsterdam negotiations (1996-97)
The Lisbon Treaty negotiations
Top-level decision-making has its limits and its dangers.
Negotiation at the highest level is risky.
When considering the limits of the decision-making capacity of the European Council, two points are significant, as follows. - The number of meetings - Consensus
The work of the European Council as treaty negotiator is different in nature from its other functions.
Treaty of Lisbon - The European Council becoming a formal institution.
Preparing meetings
Conducting debates
Drawing conclusions (Presidency conclusions)
Following them up
Summit in Paris (December 1974)
First meeting in Dublin (March 1975) - The need for overall approach/ consistency - A meeting in the context of political cooperation with appropriate manner due to practices/ procedures - To ensure consistency in Community activities and continuity of work
Rule of procedure for voting
Consensus/ Unanimity
Presence of two thirds of members of the EU Council
Any member may also act on behalf of not more than one other member
Theories of European Integration in accommodating EU Council
-- Liberal intergovernmental : bargaining, negotiating and compromising supranational
-- Historical Institutionalism: EU council is master of its own agenda.
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