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EU Council Agenda - Research & Innovation

General Information | 

Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union is an essential EU decision-maker. It is a single legal body , but it convenes in 10 different 'configurations', depending on the subject being discussed. Council meetings are attended by representatives from each member state at a ministerial level; European Commissioners responsible for the areas concerned are also invited to Council meetings.


The Council 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 also responsible for coordinating member states' policies in specific fields, such as economic and fiscal policies, education, culture, youth and sports, as well as employment policy.

It develops the EU’s common foreign and security policy and concludes international agreements covering broad areas or dealing with specific subjects.

Lastly, it adopts the EU budget together with the European Parliament.

Preparatory bodies

The Council is supported by the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the European Union (Coreper) and by more than 150 highly specialised working parties and committees, known as the 'Council preparatory bodies'.

In addition, ad hoc committees can be created for a specific purpose and cease to exist when their task is fulfilled.

The Research and Innovation field falls under the responsibility of the Competitiveness Council. This specific configuration also covers three (3) other policy areas: internal market, industry and space.

On research and innovation, the Council aims to strengthen the scientific and technological base of European industry, thus boosting its international competitiveness and driving growth and jobs.

The presidency of the Council rotates among the EU member states every 6 months (January – June; July - December), in accordance with a pre-established rota. Member states holding the presidency work together closely in groups of three, called 'trios'.

The Council of the EU provides information on the current Council Presidency as well as on the order of rotation of upcoming presidencies: 


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