Published in summer 1972 in the monthly journal 30 Jours d’Europe, this article speculates on the likelihood of the forthcoming European Summit Conference taking place as planned on 19 October in Paris in the same spirit of renewed cooperation as the Hague Summit of December 1969.
In an article published in September 1979 in the Revue du Marché commun, Pascal Fontaine, lecturer at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, gives an account of the events which led Jean Monnet, at that time Chairman of the Action Committee for the United States of Europe, to propose, from 1973, to the Heads of State and Government of the Community Member States that they should meet regularly in the form of a ‘provisional European government' in order to give new impetus to European unification.
On the initiative of the French President, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the European Council is established at the Paris Summit Conference of December 1974. From 1975, the European Council replaces European Summit Conferences.
In this interview, Leo Tindemans, former Belgian Prime Minister, refers to the decisive role played by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, President of the French Republic, at the Paris Summit of 9 and 10 December 1974, with particular regard to the idea of convening a meeting of the Heads of State or Government of the Nine in the European Council.
At the Paris Summit of 9 and 10 December 1974, the meetings of the Heads of State or Government are put on a formal footing. After that date, such meetings are known as meetings of the European Council. Altiero Spinelli, Member of the European Commission, fears that this constitutes a step backwards towards a situation where intergovernmental conciliation procedures will be given precedence over the Community method. Spinelli sees the determination of the Heads of Government to arrogate to themselves the determining of ‘the overall concept of the EU’ as a threat to the role of the Commission as the originator of political initiatives.
Published in January 1975 in the monthly journal 30 Jours d’Europe, this article takes a positive view of the ‘routinisation’ of European Summit Conferences, which were henceforth formalised in the form of ‘European Councils’. The routine and less formal nature of the European Council, henceforth meeting three times a year, would create favourable conditions for the gradual revival of the Community and strengthen its political decision-making capabilities.
At the first European Council, held in Dublin on 10 and 11 March 1975, the renegotiation of the terms for the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Communities ends in a compromise. This photograph shows the Heads of State or Government also celebrating the birthday of the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.
Group photo of the first European Council, held in Dublin on 10 and 11 March 1975. From left to right: Mariano Rumor, Italian Foreign Minister; François-Xavier Ortoli, President of the European Commission; Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany; Gaston Thorn, Prime Minister of Luxembourg; Joop den Uyl, Netherlands Prime Minister; Knud Borge Andersen, Danish Foreign Minister; Liam Cosgrave, Irish Prime Minister; Valery Giscard d'Estaing, President of the French Republic; Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister, and Leo Tindemans, Belgian Prime Minister.
In an article published in December 1992 in the Revue du Marché commun, Christopher Bo Bramsen, Danish Permanent Representative to the European Communities, gives an account of the origins and development of the European Council since the first European summit meeting, held in February 1961, and reviews the achievements of the European Councils held between 1975 and 1981.
On 19 June in Stuttgart, the 10 Heads of State and Government signed the Solemn Declaration on European Union. This Declaration deals with, among other issues, the composition, the operation and the role of the European Council.
Chronological list of Summit Conferences and European Councils since 1961. This list provides details of the exact location where the meetings were held and the names of the Heads of State or Government and Foreign Ministers of the countries chairing the meetings. Since the Treaty of Lisbon came into force on 1 December 2009, the European Council has had its own President.
In December 2002, the German monthly news magazine Europäische Zeitung recalls the establishment of the European Council in 1974 by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and Helmut Schmidt, as well as highlights of the meetings of Heads of State or Government, from the Dublin Summit held in March 1975 to the Brussels Summit held in October 2002.
In this study realised on the European Council by Philippe de Schoutheete and Helen Wallace in 2002, both authors present the historical context in which the European Council developed, the functions it fulfils and the remedies which could be applied to its weak points.