Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union (EU) is the institution representing the Governments of the Member States. It is through the Council’s meetings that the ministers of the European Governments agree legislative initiatives and coordinate policies.
It negotiates and adopts legislative acts in most cases together with the European Parliament through the ordinary legislative procedure, also known as 'codecision'. Codecision is used for policy areas where the EU has exclusive or shared competence with the member states. In these cases, the Council legislates on the basis of proposals submitted by the European Commission.
The Council is responsible for coordinating member states' policies in specific fields, such as economic and fiscal policies, education, culture, youth and sport and employment policy.
The Council defines and implements EU foreign and security policy on the basis of guidelines set by the European Council.
The Council provides the mandate to the Commission to negotiate on behalf of the EU agreements between the EU and non-EU countries and international organisations.
The Council adopts the EU budget together with the Parliament.