This is a list of European Councils, meetings of the heads of state and government of the European Union (EU). The body has no formal power, but as the leaders of the EU's member states it acts as the highest authority in EU politics. The table lists the meetings by presidency, date, and location.

Early meetings

The first Councils were held in February and July 1961 (in Paris and Bonn respectively). They were informal summits of the leaders of the European Community, the first influential summit was held in 1969 and the Hague summit of 1969 reached an agreement on the admittance of the United Kingdom into the Community and initiated foreign policy cooperation (European Political Cooperation) The summits were only formalised in 1974, at the December summit in Paris, following a proposal from then-French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.[1][2]

Formal Council meetings

Formal Council meetings of the Communities
year Start date End date Venue President Notes
1975 10 March 11 March Republic of Ireland Dublin Republic of Ireland Liam Cosgrave
16 July 17 July Belgium Brussels Italy Aldo Moro
1 December 2 December Italy Rome
1976 1 April 2 April Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Gaston Thorn
12 July 13 July Belgium Brussels Netherlands Joop den Uyl
29 November 30 November Netherlands The Hague
1977 25 March 27 March? Italy Rome United Kingdom James Callaghan
29 June 30 June United Kingdom London
5 December 6 December Belgium Brussels Belgium Leo Tindemans
1978 7 April 8 April Denmark Copenhagen Denmark Anker Jørgensen
6 July 7 July Germany Bremen Germany Helmut Schmidt
4 December 5 December Belgium Brussels
1979 12 March 13 March France Paris France Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
21 June 22 June France Strasbourg
29 November 30 November Republic of Ireland Dublin Republic of Ireland Jack Lynch
1980 17 April 18 April Luxembourg Luxembourg Italy Francesco Cossiga
12 June 13 June Italy Venice
1 December 2 December Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Pierre Werner
1981 23 March 24 March Netherlands Maastricht Netherlands Dries van Agt
29 June 30 June Luxembourg Luxembourg
26 November 27 November United Kingdom London United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher
1982 29 March 30 March Belgium Brussels Belgium Wilfried Martens
28 June 29 June Belgium Brussels
3 December 4 December Denmark Copenhagen Denmark Poul Schlüter
1983 21 March 22 March Belgium Brussels Germany Helmut Kohl
17 June 19 June Germany Stuttgart
4 December 6 December Greece Athens Greece Andreas Papandreou
1984 19 March 20 March Belgium Brussels France François Mitterrand
25 June 26 June France Fontainebleau
3 December 4 December Republic of Ireland Dublin Republic of Ireland Garret FitzGerald
1985 29 March 30 March Belgium Brussels Italy Bettino Craxi
28 June 29 June Italy Milan
2 December 3 December Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Jacques Santer
1986 26 June 27 June Netherlands The Hague Netherlands Ruud Lubbers
5 December 6 December United Kingdom London United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher
1987 29 June 30 June Belgium Brussels Belgium Wilfried Martens
4 December 5 December Denmark Copenhagen Denmark Poul Schlüter
1988 11 February 13 February Belgium Brussels Germany Helmut Kohl
27 June 28 June Germany Hanover
2 December 3 December Greece Rhodes Greece Andreas Papandreou
1989 26 June 27 June Spain Madrid Spain Felipe González
18 November France Paris France François Mitterrand
8 December 9 December France Strasbourg
1990 28 April Republic of Ireland Dublin Republic of Ireland Charles Haughey
25 June 26 June Republic of Ireland Dublin
27 October 28 October Italy Rome Italy Giulio Andreotti
14 December 15 December Italy Rome
1991 8 April Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Jacques Santer
28 June 29 June Luxembourg Luxembourg
9 December 10 December Netherlands Maastricht Netherlands Ruud Lubbers
1992 27 June Portugal Lisbon Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva
16 October United Kingdom Birmingham United Kingdom John Major
11 December 12 December United Kingdom Edinburgh
1993 21 June 22 June Denmark Copenhagen Denmark Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
29 October Belgium Brussels Belgium Jean-Luc Dehaene
Formal Council meetings of the European Union (1993 to 2004)
1993 10 December 11 December Belgium Brussels Belgium Jean-Luc Dehaene
1994 24 June 25 June Greece Corfu Greece Andreas Papandreou
9 December 10 December Germany Essen Germany Helmut Kohl
1995 26 June 27 June France Cannes France Jacques Chirac
15 December 16 December Spain Madrid Spain Felipe González
1996 29 March 30 March Italy Turin Italy Lamberto Dini
21 June 22 June Italy Florence Italy Romano Prodi
13 December 14 December Republic of Ireland Dublin Republic of Ireland John Bruton
1997 16 June 17 June Netherlands Amsterdam Netherlands Wim Kok
20 November 21 November Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker
12 December 13 December Luxembourg Luxembourg
1998 3 May Belgium Brussels United Kingdom Tony Blair
15 June 16 June United Kingdom Cardiff
11 December 12 December Austria Vienna Austria Viktor Klima
1999 25 March 26 March Germany Berlin Germany Gerhard Schröder
3 June 4 June Germany Cologne Details below table]]
15 October 16 October Finland Tampere Finland Paavo Lipponen Agreement on institutional reform
10 December 11 December Finland Helsinki
2000 23 March 24 March Portugal Lisbon Portugal António Guterres Agreed Lisbon Strategy
19 June 20 June Portugal Santa Maria da Feira Agreement to allow entry of Greece to the Eurozone.
13 October 14 October France Biarritz France Jacques Chirac Informal European council
7 December 9 December France Nice Signed Treaty of Nice
2001 23 March 24 March Sweden Stockholm Sweden Göran Persson
15 June 16 June Sweden Gothenburg Enlargement, sustainable development, economic growth and structural reform issues in addition to an EU-US summit.
21 September Belgium Brussels Belgium Guy Verhofstadt Emergency council - Terrorism
19 October Belgium Ghent Informal council
14 December 15 December Belgium Laken Details below table
2002 15 March 16 March Spain Barcelona Spain José María Aznar López
21 June 22 June Spain Seville Decided to reorganise the Council formations in order to achieve greater focus and efficiency
24 October 25 October Belgium Brussels Denmark Anders Fogh Rasmussen
12 December 13 December Denmark Copenhagen
2003 17 February Belgium Brussels Greece Costas Simitis Extraordinary council - Iraq
20 March 21 March Belgium Brussels
16 April 17 April Greece Athens Informal council - Signing of the Treaty of Accession 2003
20 June Greece Thessaloniki
4 October Italy Rome Italy Silvio Berlusconi Extraordinary council to begin IGC on EU Constitution
16 October 17 October Belgium Brussels
12 December 13 December Belgium Brussels
2004 25 March 26 March Belgium Brussels Republic of Ireland Bertie Ahern
Formal Council meetings following the 2004 Enlargement, 2004 to present
2004 17 June 18 June Belgium Brussels Republic of Ireland Bertie Ahern
4 November 5 November Belgium Brussels Netherlands Jan Peter Balkenende
16 December 17 December Belgium Brussels
2005 22 March 23 March Belgium Brussels Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker
16 June 17 June Belgium Brussels
27 October United Kingdom Hampton Court United Kingdom Tony Blair Informal council on globalisation
15 December 16 December Belgium Brussels
2006 23 March 24 March Belgium Brussels Austria Wolfgang Schüssel
15 June 16 June Belgium Brussels Agreement to allow entry of Slovenia to the Eurozone
20 October Finland Lahti Finland Matti Vanhanen Informal, meeting with Vladimir Putin, held in Sibelius Hall
14 December 15 December Belgium Brussels
2007 8 March 9 March Belgium Brussels Germany Angela Merkel
21 June 22 June Belgium Brussels Agreement on basis for the Treaty of Lisbon. Agreement to allow entry of Malta and Cyprus to the Eurozone.
18 October 19 October Portugal Lisbon Portugal José Sócrates Informal. Agreement reached on the Reform Treaty. Also discussed climate change and the US economic crisis[3]
14 December Belgium Brussels Signature of Reform Treaty in Lisbon on 13/12, European Council in Brussels the next day.
2008 13 March 14 March Belgium Brussels Slovenia Janez Janša Agreed timeframe and principles of energy/climate change policy.
19 June 20 June Belgium Brussels
13 July 14 July Belgium Brussels France Bernard Kouchner
1 September Belgium Brussels Extraordinary summit on EU-Russia relations (Georgia crisis)[4]
22 October 23 October Belgium Brussels
7 November Belgium Brussels Extraordinary summit on the global financial crisis
2009 1 March Belgium Brussels Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg Extraordinary summit on the global financial crisis
19 March 20 March Belgium Brussels
18 June 19 June Belgium Brussels Czech Republic Jan Kohout Icelandic application accepted
29 October 30 October Belgium Brussels Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt


Cologne 1999

The European Council met in Cologne on June 3-4 1999 to consider issues after the Treaty of Amsterdam came into force. Romano Prodi presented his plan for the future Commission's work and reform program. The Council called for an EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The Council designated Javier Solana for the post of Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union (with Pierre de Boissieu as his deputy) and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). It decided on a common policy on Russia (first use of the CFSP). Adopted the declaration on Kosovo. In relation to the European Security and Defence Policy, a major element of the CFSP, the council declared that the EU "must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them, and a readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crises without prejudice to actions by NATO." (Declared in St Malo by France and Great Britain)

Laken 2001

The Laken European Council was held at the royal palace at Laken, Belgium on 14-15 December 2001.

The main matters the Laken European Council dealt with were: new measures in the area of Justice and Home Affairs: the European arrest warrant, a common definition of terrorism, and EUROJUST; the seats of 10 new EU agencies -- after hours of disagreement, the European Council failed to reach an agreement and decided to leave the decision until next year; the impending introduction of Euro cash (the European Council met with the Finance ministers to consider this); the progress of EU enlargement; the adoption of the Laken Declaration on the Future of Europe, establishing the European Convention, to be presided over with former President of France, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, as President of the Convention, and former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene as Vice-Presidents. The Convention was tasked with drafting the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, and would have about 60 members, drawn from national governments, national Parliamentarians, the European Parliament, and the European Commission, and include representatives from the candidate countries. The declaration reviews the progress of European integration over the last fifty years, tracing it back to its origins in the horrors of World War II, and poses a number of questions to be answered by the Convention.[5][6]

See also


  1. ^ Stark, Christine. "Evolution of the European Council: The implications of a permanent seat" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-07-12. ((cite web)): Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  2. ^ van Grinsven, Peter (September 2003). "The European Council under Construction" (PDF). Netherlands Institution for international Relations. Retrieved 2007-08-16. ((cite web)): Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  3. ^ Informal European Council Lisbon, 18-19 October 2007 Presidency Press Release
  4. ^ Russian threats loom over historic EU summit
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Press Releases, Council of the European Union