WATCH: “European Council Conclusions” | EuropeChats Episode 10

In the first episode of EuropeChats for 2022, we discuss one key aspect of the European Council’s functioning: the conclusions issued at the end of each meeting. We will try to understand how they have evolved, what their key purpose is and how they come about. At the end of our talk, we will also suggest a few recommendations on how to best write and use European Council Conclusions.

The European Council gathers together the Heads of State or Government from the European Union’s Member States. It has over the years become the EU’s agenda setter, shaping key milestones in European integration. In the early years, the European Council did not exist – and it had no formal role or legal basis in the Treaties. Nevertheless, the Heads of State and Government, wanting to meet to discuss the progress of EU affairs and common policies, started to meet in summits in the 1960s and 1970s. The European Council, in a sense, created itself. And since that time it has had its role formalised and clearly defined.

TEPSA Secretary-General Jim Cloos drafted European Council Conclusions for years as part of his role as Deputy Director General for General and Institutional Policy at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. He knows how the conclusions have changed over time, how they are written, who has an input on their content, and ultimately, he knows how to read past their often complex and confusing language. If you ever wanted to understand more about the crucial role of the EU’s agenda setter, he is a leading expert!

EuropeChats is TEPSA’s talk show dedicated to answering your questions about the European Union. If you ever wondered what competences the EU has, what effects its policies have on your day-to-day life, and why the EU is so important, then this show will give you all the answers you need! Every episode, Jim Cloos, TEPSA Secretary-General will be answering your questions about Europe and the EU.

Jim Cloos is TEPSA’s Secretary-General, and has spent a lifetime in the heart of Brussels. As the former Deputy Director General for General and Institutional Policy at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, he was involved in European decision-making at every level. He had a key role in drafting the Maastricht Treaty during the Luxembourgish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 1991, and has an intricate expertise on EU Affairs and the internal functioning of the European institutions. There is no-one better placed to answer any question about Europe that you might have.

Mariam Khotenashvili is TEPSA’s Executive Director. Her background combines research coordination, policy advocacy, project management and academic work. Her fields of expertise include EU foreign and development policies and in particular the European Neighbourhood Policy. Mariam is your direct line into the European bubble, and to Jim’s expertise.