In an article published in June 1972 in the monthly journal 30 Jours d’Europe, Ferdinando Riccardi, reporter at Agence Europe, argues in favour of the opportunities offered by European Summit Conferences despite the reservations of others. In his opinion, only ‘summits’, convening as non-Community bodies and benefiting from the lack of defined limits, can extend the powers, the responsibilities and the field of activity of the Community and, in this way, define the future guidelines for European integration.
In an article published in November 1972 in the monthly journal 30 Jours d’Europe, Emanuele Gazzo, Director of Agence Europe, analyses the broad guidelines emerging from the conclusions of the Paris Summit of 19 and 20 October 1972. In his opinion, by defining objectives for the future, summits could provide a starting point for the transformation of the European Community into a European Union.
In this article, published in 1988, Wolfgang Wessels, Director of the Institut für Europäische Politik in Bonn and Head of the Department of Political and Administrative Studies at the College of Europe in Bruges, analyses the development of the role and activities of the European Council 12 years after its creation in 1974 and considers the consequences of its establishment for the institutional balance of the Community.
Letter of 21 January 1977 from Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, President of the French Republic, to the Heads of Government of the nine Member States of the European Communities in which he puts forward proposals with a view to improving the operation of the European Council.
Excerpt from the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council meeting in Gothenburg (Sweden) in June 2001 as example to illustrate the role of the European Council in the definition of the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines. The European Council welcomes the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines and recommends their adoption by the Council of the European Union.
Following the Amsterdam reform, a new Article 128 on employment is incorporated into the EC Treaty, entrusting to the European Council a new task in this area: the annual adoption of conclusions on the employment situation on the basis of an annual joint report to be drawn up by the Council and the Commission. The decision taken by the Extraordinary Luxembourg European Council on employment approved the early implementation in 1998 of the provisions of Article 128, prior to the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty.
Diagram showing the interaction between the different European institutions in the fields covered by the common foreign and security policy (CFSP), following the entry into force on 1 November 1993 of the Treaty on European Union, signed in Maastricht on 7 February 1992.
Diagram showing the interaction between the different European institutions in the fields covered by the common foreign and security policy (CFSP), following the entry into force on 1 May 1999 of the Amsterdam Treaty, signed on 2 October 1997.
Diagram showing the interaction between the different European institutions in the fields covered by the common foreign and security policy (CFSP), following the entry into force on 1 February 2003 of the Nice Treaty, signed on 26 February 2001.
In this interview, Norbert Schwaiger, former Head of the Press Office of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, comments on the European Council’s role in providing impetus and laying down general political guidelines. He also emphasises its possible role as an appeal body which has the final say on matters of political importance.