EU-Actors: Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union, also called the "Council of Ministers", is composed of the competent ministers of all EU Member States, which is why it can appear in ten different Council formations. Together with the European Parliament and the Commission, the Council of the EU negotiates and adopts legal acts within the framework of the ordinary legislative procedure and is responsible for its implementation in the respective Member States, which is why it fulfils both legislative and executive functions. Since 1 November 2014, the so-called "double majority" has been required for the adoption of decisions, i.e. at least 55% of all member states, which also represent at least 65% of the total EU population, must agree. Exceptions are sensitive matters such as foreign policy and taxation, which require unanimity. For procedural and administrative matters, a simple majority is sufficient.


The Presidency of the Council of the European Union rotates among the EU member states every six months. During the six month period, the presidency chairs meetings at every level in the Council of the European Union (together with the European Parliament the legislative organ of the EU), helping to ensure the continuity of the EU's work in the Council.

Current presidency: Belgium

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Council presidencies up to 2024


Belgium: January - June 2024

Hungary: July - December 2024


Sweden: January - June 2023

Spain: July - December 2023


France: January- June 2022

Czech Republic: July - December 2022


Portugal: Januar - Juni 2021

Slovenia: July - December 2021


Croatia: January - June 2020

Germany: July - December 2020


Romania: January - June 2019

Finland: July - December 2019


Founding of the ECSC


Different compositions of the Council of Ministers

34 %

of EU citizens do not understand how the EU works (2021)

Role and Responsibilities 

Art.16 (1) TEU: ,,The Council shall, jointly with the European Parliament, exercise legislative and budgetary functions. It shall carry out policy-making and coordinating functions as laid down in the Treaties."


Art. 16 (2) TEU: ,,The Council shall consist of a representative of each Member State at ministerial level, who may commit the government of the Member State in question and cast its vote."

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