As we discussed before, the main function of the European Council according to the Treaty is to give the European Union the impetus and direction for its development.
However, giving direction to European integration in practice has also implied launching new fields of activities. For example, in 1975 the Council initiated the co-operation in the fight against terrorism and organised crime. In 2000, it started the action in the field of social affairs and economic policy. It is also worth stressing that the European Council approves common strategies in the framework of Common Foreign and Security Policy. The Council has defined the completion of the Single European Market and the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Finally, the European Council plays a significant role in the enlargement process (Schoutheete, 2012, p.56). One can then argue that the European Council works as the engine of the EU, as it decides the agenda of both the widening and the deepening of European Integration.
Watch the video below. How were the new fields of activity launched and how has the EU been growing?