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European Council

Latest news from the Council of the European Union.

The European Consensus on Development
The European Consensus on Development 2005 is a policy statement that reflects the EU's willingness to eradicate poverty and build a more stable and equitable world.

Council of the European Union Contacts

Agriculture and Fisheries Council
The Agriculture and Fisheries Council is, together with the General Affairs and External Relations Council and the Ecofin Council, one of the Council's oldest configurations. It brings together once a month the Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries and the European Commissioners responsible for agriculture and rural development, fisheries and maritime affairs, as well as consumer health and protection.

Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council
Since June 2002 these three policies have been placed under the sole responsibility of a single Council configuration which meets approximately every two months. The composition of the Council varies according to the items on the agenda (Ministers for Transport, Telecommunications or Energy).

Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council
The Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council brings together Justice ministers and Interior ministers about once every two months to discuss the development and implementation of cooperation and common policies in this sector. The creation of an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, is a key aim of the EU Treaty.

Competitiveness Council
The creation of the Competitiveness Council in June 2002, through the merging of three previous configurations (Internal Market, Industry and Research) was a response to the perceived need for a more coherent and better coordinated handling of these matters related to the European Union's competitiveness. Depending on the items on the agenda, this Council is composed of European Affairs Ministers, Industry Ministers, Research Ministers, etc. It meets about five or six times a year.

European Council Configurations
The Council is a single body, but for reasons relating to the organisation of its work, it meets – according to the subject being discussed – in different "configurations", which are attended by the Ministers from the Member States and the European Commissioners responsible for the areas concerned.

The EU's Trade Relationship with China
China is the single most important challenge for EU trade policy. China has re-emerged as the world's third economy and the biggest exporter in the global economy, but also an increasingly important political power. EU-China trade has increased dramatically in recent years. China is now the EU's 2nd trading partner behind the USA and the EU's biggest source of imports by far. The EU is also China's biggest trading partner.

The EU and International Cooperation in Pharmaceuticals
The European Commission is an active member of the World Health Organisation’s International Medical Products Task Force (IMPACT). IMPACT counts all the major anti-counterfeiting players including international organizations, non–governmental organisations, enforcement agencies, pharmaceutical manufacturers associations and drug regulatory authorities.

Treaties of the European Union
The European Union is based on the rule of law. This means that everything that it does is derived from treaties, which are agreed on voluntarily and democratically by all Member States. Previously signed treaties have been changed and updated to keep up with developments in society.

Spring European Council
The Spring European Council will focus on the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs, better regulation and an integrated energy and climate policy.

Decision-making in the European Union
Decision-making in the European Union involves a number of institutions, in particular the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.