Council of Ministers

Council of Ministers
   The intergovernmental decision-making body of the European Union which makes policy and acts like a government of the Union. It is made up of one minister from each member country. Usually, for routine business, the minister concerned is the Foreign Minister, although when farming matters are to be discussed it is the Minister of Agriculture, just as when green issues are on the agenda the Secretary of State for the Environment takes the seat. There are Council meetings throughout the year (around 100 or so); agricultural ministers meet at least monthly. Most sessions take place in Brussels, although in April, June and October they are held in Luxembourg. Preparations for the meetings are handled by COREPER.
   Each member country in turn acts as President of the European Union for six months (January to June and July to December). During these six months, all Council meetings are chaired by the relevant minister from the country holding the presidency. The UK last held the presidency between July and December 2005.
   Further reading: N. Nugent, The Government and Politics of the European Union, Palgrave, 2003

Glossary of UK Government and Politics . 2013.

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