What is the General Affairs
& External Relations Council ?
Council is composed of one representative at
ministerial level from each Member State, who is empowered
to commit their Government. Council members are politically
accountable to their national parliaments.
Which Ministers attend each Council meeting varies according
to the subject discussed, although its institutional unity
remains intact. Thus, Ministers for Foreign Affairs attend
in the configuration known as the
General Affairs & External Relations Council to deal with external
relations and general policy questions, while the Ministers
responsible for economic and financial affairs meet as the
Economic and Financial Affairs Council, and so on.
The frequency of Council meetings varies according to the
urgency of the subjects dealt with. The General Affairs,
Economic and Financial Affairs and Agriculture Councils meet
once a month, while the Transport, Environment or Industry
Councils meet two to four times a year.
Reports of these meetings can be found on the website of
Council of the European Union
at this address: