In the second part of our series ‘EU for Facebook Junkies’ Martina Brinkmann looks at the Council of the European Union.
As with all the other EU institutions, the Council of the European Union has its own Facebook Page which you can find here.
What is the Council of the European Union?
The Council of the European Union is the EU institution where ministers from the 28 EU member states sit. There are 10 different Council configurations, covering a whole range of EU policies.
The composition and frequency of Council meeting varies depending on the policy area. For example, economic and finance ministers meet once a month in the Ecofin Council. The environment ministers participate in the Environment Council meetings, which take place about four times per year.
The Council adopts legislative acts (regulations, directives, etc.), in many cases in co-decision with the European Parliament, coordinates member states’ policies, concludes international agreements on behalf of the EU and adopts the EU’s budget together with the European Parliament.
The EU’s 28 countries take it in turn to chair the Council for a period of six months each. During this period, the presidency chairs meetings at every level (except the foreign affairs policy area), proposes guidelines and draws up the compromises needed for the Council to take decisions.
And don’t confuse it with the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe and the European Union share the same fundamental values – human rights, democracy and the rule of law, but are separate entities which perform different, yet complementary, roles.
Both are unfortunately mentioned on one Facebook Page and this is very confusing. I will explain the Council of Europe in the next article of this series.
On the Facebook page you will find the latest Updates about the last meetings, some videos and pictures, but nothing really impressive to be honest.
The EU could really improve this page in my opinion.