European Council

Finland is represented
in the European Council
by Prime Minister
Jyrki Katainen.

Photo: European Parliament

Herman Van Rompuy

Photo: European Parliament

The European Council is the summit meeting of the heads of state and government of the EU member states. The summit meeting discusses how the European affairs should be managed. The Council deals with the most important political issues concerning the Union. The European Council convenes several times a year.

The heads of state and government determine the direction of the EU’s activities. Also, the European Council addresses international questions, common security and the relations with other foreign countries.

The chairman of the European Council also serves as the President of the European Unionrepresenting the Union in international negotiations. The duration of the President’s term of office is 2.5 years. A President can hold this position for a maximum of two terms, or five years altogether.

The President of the European Council during 2012–2014 is Herman Van Rompuy (Belgium).

Photo: European Parliament