In an article published in June 1972 in the monthly journal 30 Jours d’Europe, Emanuele Gazzo, Director of Agence Europe, comments on the preparations for the European Summit Conference planned for October. For the first time, the Commission takes part in the preparations for the Summit, at all stages and on all subjects, at the same level as the governments.
This excerpt from the Conclusions of the Presidency of the Seville European Council of 21 and 22 June 2002 on the reform of the Council includes Annex I regarding Rules for the organisation of the proceedings of the European Council.
Published in October 1972 in the monthly journal 30 Jours d’Europe, this article sheds light on certain common guidelines, formulated in preparatory Coreper and Ministerial discussions, and on the proceedings of the next European Summit Conference, planned for 19 and 20 October in Paris. Agreement was reached, among other things, on the agenda, the basis of an agreement on Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and on the publication of a solemn declaration which would be added to the final communiqué.
‘For once, I can understand English!’ ‘For the next Summit, we’ve ordered in supplies of aspirin!’ ‘I’m not the one who’s going to pay!!’ ‘What a nightmare.’ It is at European Councils that delicate issues are dealt with in the last instance by the Heads of State or Government. The discussions, often very heated, are followed with interest by the general public. In 1984, the French cartoonist, Plantu, illustrates the trial of strength between the French President, François Mitterrand, and the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, on the issue of the United Kingdom’s contribution to the Community budget.
Since 1987, European Council meetings open with a statement by the President of the European Parliament. This photograph shows, from left to right: Giorgos Papandreou, Greek Foreign Minister and President-in-Office of the Council; Costas Simitis, Greek Prime Minister and President-in-Office of the European Council; Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament; and Javier Solana, Secretary-General/High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
At the end of a European Council meeting, an official statement is drawn up and the Presidents of the European Council and the Commission call a press conference. This photograph was taken on 13 December 2003 at the final press conference of the Brussels European Council. From left to right: Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament, Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Prime Minister and President of the European Council, Franco Frattini, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Gianfranco Fini, Italian Deputy Prime Minister.
Demonstrators take advantage of the media coverage of the European Councils to attract attention to their grievances. On 14 December 2001, on the fringes of the Laeken European Council, demonstrators march through the streets of Brussels.
In this interview, Norbert Schwaiger, former Head of the Press Office of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, recalls the role played by Niels Ersbøll, Secretary-General of the Council from 1980 to 1994, in the structuring of the preparatory work of the European Council and in the rationalising of the drafting of its conclusions.
In this interview, Norbert Schwaiger, former Head of the Press Office of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, analyses the reasons behind the media’s interest in the European Councils. He also explains the reasons behind the choice of Brussels as its meeting place.
Under Declaration No 22 on the venue for European Councils, annexed to the Treaty of Nice, ‘As from 2002, one European Council meeting per Presidency will be held in Brussels. When the Union comprises 18 members, all European Council meetings will be held in Brussels.' On 24 and 25 October 2002, the Danish Presidency organises, for the first time, one of the Council's twice-yearly meetings in the Belgian capital.
On 27 September 2005, the Council issues a press release in which it presents the plan submitted by the winners of the competition to redevelop the ‘Résidence Palace’ building in Brussels with a view to its being used for the European Council meetings that are currently held at the Justus Lipsius Building, seat of the Council of the European Union.