List of European Council meetings
This is a list of meetings of the European Council (informally referred to as EU summits); the meetings of the European Council, an institution of the European Union (EU) comprising heads of state or government of EU member states. They started in 1975 as tri-annual meetings. The number of meetings grew to minimum four per year between 1996 and 2007, and minimum six per year since 2008. From 2008 to 2015, an average of seven council meetings per year took place (see list below).
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Since 2008, an annual average of two special Euro summits were also organized in addition – and often in parallel – to the EU summits. As the agenda of Euro summits is restricted solely to discuss issues for the eurozone and only invite political leaders of the eurozone member states, such meetings are not counted as European Councils.
The first seven summit meetings were held between 1961 and 1974, but this was before the formal establishment of the European Council. Some sources however consider them to be the informal seven first meetings of the European Council.
|#||Year||Date||Type||EU Council presidency||President-in-Office||Commission President||Host city||Notes|
|1||1975||10–11 March||―||Ireland||Liam Cosgrave||François-Xavier Ortoli||Dublin||Inaugural formal Council|
|2||16–17 July||―||Italy||Aldo Moro||Brussels|
|3||1–2 December||―||Rome||Established TREVI|
|4||1976||1–2 April||―||Luxembourg||Gaston Thorn||Luxembourg|
|5||12–13 July||―||Netherlands||Joop den Uyl||Brussels|
|6||29–30 November||―||The Hague|
|7||1977||25–27 March||―||UK||James Callaghan||Roy Jenkins||Rome|
|9||5–6 December||―||Belgium||Leo Tindemans||Brussels|
|10||1978||7–8 April||―||Denmark||Anker Jørgensen||Copenhagen|
|11||6–7 July||―||West Germany||Helmut Schmidt||Bremen|
|13||1979||12–13 March||―||France||Valéry Giscard d'Estaing||Paris|
|15||29–30 November||―||Ireland||Jack Lynch||Dublin|
|16||1980||17–18 April||―||Italy||Francesco Cossiga||Luxembourg|
|18||1–2 December||―||Luxembourg||Pierre Werner||Luxembourg|
|19||1981||23–24 March||―||Netherlands||Dries van Agt||Gaston Thorn||Maastricht|
|21||26–27 November||―||UK||Margaret Thatcher||London|
|22||1982||29–30 March||―||Belgium||Wilfried Martens||Brussels|
|24||3–4 December||―||Denmark||Poul Schlüter||Copenhagen|
|25||1983||21–22 March||―||West Germany||Helmut Kohl||Brussels|
|27||4–6 December||―||Greece||Andreas Papandreou||Athens|
|28||1984||19–20 March||―||France||François Mitterrand||Brussels|
|29||25–26 June||―||Fontainebleau||British rebate agreed|
|30||3–4 December||―||Ireland||Garret FitzGerald||Dublin|
|31||1985||29–30 March||―||Italy||Bettino Craxi||Jacques Delors||Brussels||Initiated the IGC leading to the Single European Act|
|33||2–3 December||―||Luxembourg||Jacques Santer||Luxembourg|
|34||1986||26–27 June||―||Netherlands||Ruud Lubbers||The Hague|
|35||5–6 December||―||UK||Margaret Thatcher||London|
|36||1987||29–30 June||―||Belgium||Wilfried Martens||Brussels|
|37||4–5 December||―||Denmark||Poul Schlüter||Copenhagen|
|38||1988||11–13 February||―||West Germany||Helmut Kohl||Brussels|
|40||2–3 December||―||Greece||Andreas Papandreou||Rhodes|
|41||1989||26–27 June||―||Spain||Felipe González||Madrid|
|42||18 November||Informal||France||François Mitterrand||Paris|
|43||8–9 December||―||Strasbourg|| European Council endorses German reunification |
despite some Anglo-French opposition.
|44||1990||28 April||Extraordinary||Ireland||Charles Haughey||Dublin|
|46||27–28 October||―||Italy||Giulio Andreotti||Rome|
|48||1991||8 April||Informal||Luxembourg||Jacques Santer||Luxembourg|
|50||9–10 December||―||Netherlands||Ruud Lubbers||Maastricht||Signing of the Treaty of Maastricht|
|51||1992||27 June||―||Portugal||Aníbal Cavaco Silva||Lisbon|
|52||16 October||―||UK||John Major||Birmingham|
|54||1993||21–22 June||―||Denmark||Poul Nyrup Rasmussen||Copenhagen||Copenhagen criteria agreed|
|55||29 October||―||Belgium||Jean-Luc Dehaene||Brussels|
|57||1994||24–25 June||―||Greece||Andreas Papandreou||Corfu|| Signing of the Accession Treaty of Austria, Finland,|
Sweden and Norway (Norway did not ratify)
|58||15 July||―||Germany||Helmut Kohl||Brussels|
|60||1995||26–27 June||―||France||Jacques Chirac||Jacques Santer||Cannes|
|61||22–23 October||Extraordinary||Spain||Felipe González||Majorca|
|63||1996||29–30 March||―||Italy||Lamberto Dini||Turin|
|64||21–22 June||―||Romano Prodi||Florence|
|65||5 October||Extraordinary||Ireland||John Bruton||Dublin|
|67||1997||23 May||Informal||Netherlands||Wim Kok||Noordwijk|
|68||16–17 June||―||Amsterdam||Signed Treaty of Amsterdam|
|69||20–21 November||Extraordinary||Luxembourg||Jean-Claude Juncker||Luxembourg||Special council on Employment|
|71||1998||3 May||―||UK||Tony Blair||Brussels||Special Council on the Euro decides the 11 states |
which would enter the third stage of EMU
|73||24–25 October||Informal||Austria||Viktor Klima||Pörtschach|
|75||1999||26 February||Informal||Germany||Gerhard Schröder||Königswinter|
|76||25–26 March||―||Manuel Marin (Interim)||Berlin|
|78||3–4 June||―||Cologne||Details below table|
|79||15–16 October||―||Finland||Paavo Lipponen||Romano Prodi||Tampere||Special meeting on justice and home affairs|
|81||2000||23–24 March||―||Portugal||António Guterres||Lisbon||Agreed Lisbon Strategy|
|82||19–20 June||―||Santa Maria da Feira||Agreement to allow entry of Greece to the Eurozone|
|83||13–14 October||Informal||France||Jacques Chirac||Biarritz|
|84||7–9 December||―||Nice||Signed Treaty of Nice|
|85||2001||23–24 March||―||Sweden||Göran Persson||Stockholm|
|86||15–16 June||―||Gothenburg||Enlargement, sustainable development, economic growth |
and structural reform, in addition to an EU-US summit
|87||21 September||Informal||Belgium||Guy Verhofstadt||Brussels||Emergency council – Terrorism|
|89||14–15 December||―||Laeken||Details below table|
|90||2002||15–16 March||―||Spain||José María Aznar López||Barcelona|
|91||21–22 June||―||Seville||Decided to reorganise the Council formations |
to achieve greater focus and efficiency
|92||24–25 October||―||Denmark||Anders Fogh Rasmussen||Brussels|
|94||2003||17 February||Extraordinary||Greece||Costas Simitis||Brussels||Iraq crisis – Presidency conclusions|
|95||20–21 March||―||Brussels||Presidency conclusions|
|96||16–17 April||Informal||Athens||Signing of the Treaty of Accession 2003, |
Declaration on Iraq European Convention
|97||20 June||―||Thessaloniki||Presidency conclusions of the June 2003 meeting|
|98||4 October||Extraordinary||Italy||Silvio Berlusconi||Rome||Beginning of IGC on EU Constitution|
|99||16–17 October||―||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the October 2003 meeting|
|100||12–13 December||―||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the December 2003 meeting|
|101||2004||25–26 March||―||Ireland||Bertie Ahern||Brussels||Declaration on combating terrorism |
Presidency conclusions of the March 2004 meeting
|102||17–18 June||―||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the June 2004 meeting|
|103||4–5 November||―||Netherlands||Jan Peter Balkenende||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the November 2004 meeting|
|104||16–17 December||―||José Manuel Barroso||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the December 2004 meeting|
|105||2005||22–23 March||―||Luxembourg||Jean-Claude Juncker||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the March 2005 meeting|
|106||16–17 June||―||Brussels||Declaration on the ratification of |
the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe
Presidency conclusions of the June 2005 meeting
|107||27 October||Informal||UK||Tony Blair||Hampton Court||Globalisation|
|108||15–16 December||―||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the December 2005 meeting|
|109||2006||23–24 March||―||Austria||Wolfgang Schüssel||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the March 2006 meeting|
|110||15–16 June||―||Brussels||Agreement to allow entry of Slovenia to the Eurozone |
Presidency conclusions of the June 2006 meeting
|111||20 October||Informal||Finland||Matti Vanhanen||Lahti||Meeting with Vladimir Putin held in Sibelius Hall|
|112||14–15 December||―||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the December 2006 meeting|
|113||2007||8–9 March||―||Germany||Angela Merkel||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the March 2007 meeting|
|114||21–22 June||―||Brussels||Agreement on basis for the Treaty of Lisbon |
Agreement to allow entry of Malta and Cyprus to the Eurozone
Presidency conclusions of the June 2007 meeting
|115||18–19 October||Informal||Portugal||José Sócrates||Lisbon||Agreement reached on the Reform Treaty |
Discussed climate change and the US economic crisis.
|116||14 December||―||Brussels||Signature of Reform Treaty in Lisbon on 13/12 |
European Council in Brussels the next day
Presidency conclusions of the December 2007 meeting
|117||2008||13–14 March||―||Slovenia||Janez Janša||Brussels||Agreed timeframe and principles of energy/climate change policy |
Presidency conclusions of the March 2008 meeting
|118||19–20 June||―||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the June 2008 meeting|
|119||13–14 July||Extraordinary||France||Nicolas Sarkozy||Paris||Barcelona process for the Mediterranean|
|120||1 September||Extraordinary||Brussels||Extraordinary summit on EU-Russia relations (Georgia crisis) |
Presidency conclusions of the September 2008 meeting
|―||12 October||Euro summit||Paris||Eurozone summit conclusions of October 2008 meeting|
|121||15–16 October||―||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the October 2008 meeting|
|122||7 November||Informal||Brussels||Informal summit on the financial crisis of 2007–2008 |
Conclusions from meeting on the Global Financial Crisis
|123||11–12 December||―||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the December 2008 meeting|
|124||2009||1 March||Informal||Czech Republic||Mirek Topolánek||Brussels||Informal summit on the financial crisis of 2007–2008 |
Conclusions of the Global Financial Crisis meeting on 1 March 2009
|125||19–20 March||―||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the March 2009 meeting|
|Jan Fischer||Prague||US President Barack Obama in Prague |
Conclusions of the EU-USA relations meeting in April 2009
|127||18–19 June||―||Brussels||Icelandic application accepted |
Presidency conclusions of the June 2009 meeting
Press conference video: 1 and 2
|128||17 September||Informal||Sweden||Fredrik Reinfeldt||Brussels||Preparation for the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit|
Presidency conclusions of the September 2009 meeting
Press conference video
|129||29–30 October||―||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the October 2009 meeting |
Press conference video
|130||19 November||Informal||Brussels||Chose the first President of the European Council (Herman Van Rompuy) and the first |
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Catherine Ashton)
Presidency conclusions of the November 2009 meeting
Press conference video
|131||10–11 December||—||Brussels||Presidency conclusions of the December 2009 meeting, Minutes |
Press conference video: 1 and 2
Since 2010, all formal (scheduled or extraordinary) European Council meetings have taken place in Brussels and been chaired by a permanent President, as introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon. In February 2010 the exact location was the Solvay Library, subsequent meetings took place at the Justus Lipsius building and since March 2017 at the Europa Building.
Meetings are always called and organized to the extent found needed by the European Council president. The upcoming ordinary meetings are scheduled by the end of each semester for the third following semester (minimum one year in advance), and can take form either as "scheduled ordinary meetings" (resulting in a published document entitled "conclusions") or "informal ordinary meetings" (resulting in a published document entitled "statement"). A called scheduled/informal ordinary upcoming meeting might occasionally be moved or cancelled within a short notice, with such change then being notified by the Council president through the issue of a revised calendar plan for the ordinary meetings within the semester in concern. If extra meetings are called outside the procedure of notification minimum a half-year in advance, they are referred to as being "extraordinary meetings".
The European Council met in Cologne, Germany, on 3–4 June 1999 to consider issues after the Treaty of Amsterdam came into force. Romano Prodi presented his plan for the future Commission's work and reform program. The Council called for an EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The Council designated Javier Solana for the post of Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union (with Pierre de Boissieu as his deputy) and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). It decided on a common policy on Russia (first use of the CFSP). Adopted the declaration on Kosovo. In relation to the European Security and Defence Policy, a major element of the CFSP, the council declared that the EU "must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them, and a readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crises without prejudice to actions by NATO". (Declared in St Malo by France and Great Britain)
The 2001 meeting of the European Council was held in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, from 14 to 16 June.
The EU Summit focused upon EU enlargement, sustainable development, economic growth and structural reform issues. The EU–US summit included a visit by U.S. president George W. Bush on 14 June. It was the first U.S. presidential visit to Sweden, and was intended as an opportunity to discuss differences on climate negotiations, WTO and Middle East issues with the EU leaders. It was marred by extensive demonstrations.
The main protests were organised by three broad coalitions, a local coalition Bush Go home that opposed U.S. foreign policy, a Sweden-based coalition Network Gothenburg 2001 which opposed Swedish membership in the EU and EMU and an international coalition Gothenburg Action 2001, a proponent of "another Europe", opponent of EU militarisation, the Schengen Agreement, and defending the public sector and the environment from becoming trade commodities and EMU. There was also a broad Iranian and a smaller anti-capitalist coalition as well as non-violent networks and Reclaim the Streets organising demonstrations and a street party.
According to the police, more than 50,000 demonstrators gathered in Gothenburg during the three days of the summit, among them a smaller amount with foreign nationality. The demonstrating organisations arranged many conferences, the biggest conference (besides, of course, the EU summit itself) being Fritt forum (Free Forum) which hosted 50 lectures and seminars and was funded by the city of Gothenburg, the Swedish justice department and Sweden's foreign ministry department among others. The summit was guarded by approximately 2500 police officers.
Besides a number of encounters and skirmishes there were a number of riots. The first one occurred on 14 June after the police had surrounded and enclosed the Hvitfeldtska gymnasiet where demonstrators had been invited by the city to stay during the summit. The second occurred in the morning of 15 June in conjunction with a demonstration of 2000 participants organised by the anti-capitalist organisation, and it resulted in violent clashes with the police and damage of Gothenburg's main street Kungsportsavenyn. Later in the evening during the Reclaim the City demonstration, a police unit came under attack by demonstrators throwing projectiles. The police subsequently fired shots at the demonstrators. Three persons were injured by gunshots, one of whom was seriously injured. This was the first use of firearms against Swedish demonstrators since the Ådalen shootings in 1931.
The riots were followed by prison sentences for 64 persons convicted of criminal behaviour. In total demonstrators were sent to prison for almost 50 years. As of 2006, no police officer has been convicted of wrongdoing during the summit. One officer was tried and convicted for committing perjury during a trial against a Gothenburg demonstrator.
The summit meeting of the European Union was notable because heads of states from the EU gathered in Gothenburg, and also because the American President George W. Bush visited Sweden for the first time on the day before the summit meeting. As a reaction to this, protesters from all over the world planned to gather in Gothenburg to demonstrate under different banners. The City of Gothenburg assisted the out-of-town protesters by providing living quarters in different schools around Gothenburg and a convergence center, first at Hvitfeldtska gymnasiet and later moved to Schillerska Gymnasiet.
The political background to the protests was a conjuncture of three forces. EU-criticism and opposition to membership in the EU was stronger in Sweden than anywhere else in the union. Secondly a wave of globalisation protests against neoliberalism had gained momentum after the protests during the EU Summit in Amsterdam 1997 and the WTO meeting in Seattle 1999. Anti-war and environmental concerns against the U.S. was a third factor.
The police planned and gathered their forces in anticipation of the meeting. Never before had this many heads of state met in Sweden, and thousands of police were to stand guard in Gothenburg to keep order during these three days of June 2001. The police had long prepared for disturbances and also had many different intelligence services directed at the groups participating in the planning of demonstrations. There were differing opinions amongst the police forces involved. The security police did not want the Hvitfeldtska gymnasiet to be used as they felt it was too close to the EU Summit while the Gothenburg police insisted on having the demonstrators there. American police tactics against protesters were in use such as a psycho-tactic unit that was supposed to have a dialogue with demonstrating organisations.
The police, the local authority and the different demonstration coalitions had arranged a dialogue group where they planned and discussed the demonstrations to ensure they would be as peaceful as possible.
The officers in command of the action stated that they were very pleased with how the police had served during the summit (an opinion which at the time was shared by the government). It was claimed that the police successfully had used advance information about demonstrators and undercover police officers among the demonstrators to among other things find out about the "secret" information central.
According to the police, they acted completely in accordance with the Police Law.
The Swedish Police Union strongly criticised the way the police actions had been led and managed. In its report "Chaos" – regarding the Command in Gothenburg in June 2001 it is stated that a majority of the police who were on duty during the time felt they did not have enough resources to carry out their duties in a proper manner and that orders were confusing.
- Crimes reported: 3,143 (as of February 2002)
- Detained (gripna) for criminal actions: 554
- Detained (omhändertagna) by the police (including following two listings): 575
- Arrested (anhållna): 107
- Detained while pending trial (häktade): 59
- Number of verdicts: 38
- Number of "EU-related" (i.e. related to events during the EU-summit) persons injured (treated by hospitals in the region of Västra Götaland): 143
The total sum of the sentences following the riots during the EU summit was roughly 50 years in prison, which according to the journalist Erik Wijk is 12 times more than earlier riots. No police were convicted despite a large number of complaints.
One of the most noticed cases is the so-called information central, which was stormed by Nationella insatsstyrkan during the first day of the summit. A total of eight persons (five men, three women) were sentenced to long prison sentences after having sent out text messages urging people to go to Hvitfeldtska gymnasiet in connection with the police shutdown of the school.
The police officer in charge for the EU summit, Håkan Jaldung, was accused in a trial of preventing about 100 people at the Schillerska from leaving the place for several hours, but was found innocent.
Göteborgsaktionen ("The Gothenburg Action") involved 87 organisations out of whom 33 were Swedish, 22 Danish, 9 Finnish, 5 Norwegian, 4 European and some other mainly from different Eastern European countries. Nätverket Göteborg ("The Gothenburg Network") involved over 20 organisations.
The Laeken European Council dealt with:
- New measures in the area of Justice and Home Affairs: the European arrest warrant, a common definition of "terrorism", and EUROJUST
- The seats of ten new EU agencies (after hours of disagreement, the European Council failed to reach an agreement and decided to leave the decision until next year)
- Impending introduction of Euro cash (the European Council met with the Finance ministers to consider this)
- Progress of EU enlargement
- The adoption of the Laeken Declaration on the Future of Europe
The Laeken Declaration on the Future of Europe established the European Convention, presided over with former President of France, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, as President of the convention, and former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene as Vice-Presidents. The convention was tasked with drafting the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, and would have about 60 members, drawn from national governments, national parliamentarians, the European Parliament, and the European Commission, and include representatives from the candidate countries. The declaration reviews the progress of European integration over the last fifty years, tracing it back to its origins in the horrors of World War II, and poses a number of questions to be answered by the convention.
- Euro summit
- President of the European Council
- 1955 Messina Conference
- 1983 Solemn Declaration on European Union
- 1992 Edinburgh Agreement
- "The European Council: 50 years of summit meetings" (PDF). General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
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- "Euro Summit (24 October 2014) – Annotated Draft Agenda" (PDF). General Secretariat of the Council. 26 September 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
- "European Council, 09-10/03/2017 – Main results". Council of the European Union. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
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- "President Donald Tusk convenes a Euro Summit on Greece Monday 22 June at 19h00" (PDF). General Secretariat of the Council. 18 June 2015.
- "Invitation letter by President Donald Tusk to the Euro Summit" (PDF). General Secretariat of the Council. 6 July 2015.
- European Council Decision (EU) 2019/1135 of 2 July 2019 electing the President of the European Council
- European Council Decision (EU) 2019/1136 of 2 July 2019 proposing to the European Parliament a candidate for President of the European Commission; European Council Decision (EU) 2019/1989 of 28 November 2019 appointing the European Commission
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- "Händelserna i samband med Europeiska rådets möte i Göteborg den 14–16 juni 2001" [Gothenburg 2001 – Report from the Gothenburg Committee (SOU_2002:122)] (PDF) (in Swedish). Government of Sweden. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2007.
- National Police Board's evaluation of the EU command in Gothenburg in 2001 "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) (Swedish) Retrieved 20 November 2006.
- "SOU_2002:122" (PDF) (in Swedish). Government of Sweden. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2006.
- "Många oskyldiga drabbades". Göteborgs-Posten (in Swedish). 10 June 2011.
- "Chaos" – Regarding the Command in Gothenburg in June 2001 ("Kaos" – om kommenderingen i Göteborg juni 2001) (Retrieved 20 November 2006) is an investigation conducted by The Swedish Police Union (Polisförbundet) which is compiled from a questionnaire sent to 1800 police officers who were on duty during the events of the 2001 EU summit in Gothenburg. Its summary reads: "The picture of the command during the EU summit can be summarized in one word: Chaos. Lack of education, lack of materiel and communication, as well as confusing orders and an inner chaos within the police."
- Please note some problems translating Swedish judicial terms such as gripa, omhänderta and anhålla into English. While the terms gripna, omhändertagna and anhållna all translate to arrested or detained, in Swedish judicial language they have different value, anhållna being the gravest form of arrest, in fact the only form where the detainee is under the suspicion of committing (a) criminal act(s). Also note the difference between only being detained (gripen, as under §11 and §13 of the Swedish police law) and being detained while pending trial.
- Wijk, Erik (2003). Orätt: rättsrötan efter Göteborgshändelserna (in Swedish). Stockholm: Ordfront. ISBN 91-7037-003-6. Page needed.
- "Jaldung friad i hovrätten" (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. 23 November 2004.
- "Press Releases, Council of the European Union" Archived 7 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine