On 8 December 1998, in response to the request of the Cardiff European Council of 15 and 16 June 1998, the General Affairs Council submits a progress report on the measures taken to improve the Council working methods.
Report by the working party set up by the Secretary-General of the Council, Operation of the Council with an enlarged Union in prospect, presented on 10 March 1999 in accordance with the conclusions of the Vienna European Council held from 11 to 13 December 1998. The report is known as the ‘Trumpf–Piris Report’ after Jürgen Trumpf, Secretary-General of the Council, and Jean-Claude Piris, Legal Adviser to the Council, respectively Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the working party responsible for the report.
In this interview, Norbert Schwaiger, former Head of the Press Office of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union and former member of the working party responsible for compiling the Trumpf–Piris Report, comments on the main issues addressed by this report concerning the improvement of the operation of the Council in the light of future enlargements.
This excerpt from the Conclusions of the Presidency of the Helsinki European Council of 10 and 11 December 1999 on the reform of the Council's working methods to prepare the Union for enlargement includes Annex III An effective Council for an enlarged Union.
In February 2001, this report, drawn up by the French Research and Policy Group Notre Europe, provides a summary record of a seminar on the reform of the Council of the European Union, held on 4 September 2000 in Paris, which it organised in cooperation with the Brussels-based association Les Amis de l’Europe. This document also includes the recommendations adopted by the Notre Europe European Steering Committee following the seminar.
In his report dated 7 March 2002 and entitled Preparing the Council for enlargement, Javier Solana, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union, presents suggestions for improving the way in which the European Council and the Council of the European Union operate.
At the plenary sitting of the European Parliament of 15 May 2002 in Strasbourg, Javier Solana, Secretary-General of the Council and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), makes a statement on the reform of the Council. He sets out the main proposals included in his report of 7 March 2007 concerning the European Council, the General Affairs Council, the Presidency of the Council and the legislative activity of the Council.
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 II regarding Measures concerning the structure and functioning of the Council.
Article on the changes to the organisation and operation of the Council agreed at the Seville European Council in June 2002 and incorporated into the new Rules of Procedure of the Council in July 2002.
This programme, broadcast on 29 May 2005 during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, describes the preparatory work of the Council carried out by its working parties and by Coreper before final decisions are taken at ministerial level. The programme includes an interview with Martine Schommer, Permanent Representative of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to the European Union.
The provisions of the Single European Act concerning European Political Cooperation (EPC) specify, inter alia, the tasks of the EPC Presidency and Secretariat as well as those of the Political Committee.
On 16 March 1999, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union forwards a note to Coreper on the responsibilities of Council bodies in the field of justice and home affairs (JHA), with a view to the imminent entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam.
In its issue of 20 October 1999, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro reports on the French President’s determination to equip the European Union with the institutional resources and military capabilities required for an autonomous European defence capability.
On 15 November 1999, the Council of the European Union convenes, for the first time, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and for Defence. In an article dated 16 November 1999, the French daily newspaper Le Monde reveals the determination of these Ministers to equip the Union with an intervention force capable of responding to regional crisis situations.
On 2 December 1999, in advance of the Helsinki European Council, the Belgian daily newspaper, Le Soir reveals the substance of a document drawn up by the four largest countries of the European Union (France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy) which determines the four bodies which should enable the European Union to take decisions in the fields of security and defence and to conduct its own military operations: the General Affairs Council, the Political and Security Committee, the EU Military Committee and the EU Military Staff.
In a contribution dated 30 November 2000, the Secretary-General of the Council/High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) identifies the main actors in crisis management, in particular the various Council bodies. He emphasises the key role of the Political and Security Committee (PSC) which provides permanent coordination and strategic direction.
On 19 November 2001, following its meeting attended by the Ministers responsible for police matters, the General Affairs Council approves a declaration on the quantitative and qualitative commitments made by the Member States at the Ministerial Conference with regard to the objective of building up the European Union police capacity for crisis-management operations.
On 23 May 2005, General Rolando Mosca Moschini, President of the Military Committee of the European Union (EUMC) (left), and General Jean-Paul Perruche, Director-General of the European Union Military Staff (EUMS), attend a meeting of the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) on the European security and defence policy (ESDP).
On 17 January 2007, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro publishes an article on General Henri Bentégeat, former French Chief of Defence and Chairman of the European Union Military Committee (EUMC) since 6 November 2006.
With this joint action of 5 December 1997, the Council establishes a mechanism for evaluating the implementation by the Member States of instruments adopted by the European Union and at international level aimed at combating organised crime.
In a note addressed to the K.4 Committee on 24 June 1998, the incoming Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union considers the implications for the working structures of the Council of bringing some areas in the field of justice and home affairs (JHA) within the Community system resulting from the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam.
In a note dated 21 January 2002, the General Secretariat of the Council considers the working methods of the Council in the field of justice and home affairs (JHA), excluding legislative work. The Secretariat assesses, in particular, the usefulness of the reports and evaluations which are, in general, drawn up by the General Secretariat and adopted, in principle, by the Article 36 Committee.