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What you should know now

  • Who attends the European Council meetings.
  • Why and how the European Council evolved as an institution.
  • Since when the European Council is an official institution of the European Union.
  • Who is the President of the Council.
  • What happens before, during and after meetings of the European Council.
  • What is the Open Method of Co-ordination and why it is used.
  • How the common positions of the foreign policy of the European Union are represented and by whom.
  • How the treaties are negotiated.
  • What the characteristics of the European Council are.

Further Reading

Peterson, J., and Shackleton, M. (2012). The Institutions of the European Union. Oxford: OUP.

Puetter, U. (2011). Europe’s deliberative intergovernmentalism: the role of the Council and European Council in EU economic governance. Journal of European Public Policy, 19(2), 161-178. doi: 10.1080/13501763.2011.609743.

Werts, J (2008). European Council. London: John Harper.

General Secretariat of the European Council (2012). The European Council. 50 years of Summit Meetings. Retrieved 31 January from

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