President of the European Council

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President of the
European Council
Acting EU Council President
Charles Michel
since December 1, 2019
Official seat Europe building ,
Brussels , BelgiumBelgiumBelgium 
Term of office 2½ years
Chairman of European Council
Appointed Elected by the European Council

The President of the European Council ( PER ), also often referred to as the EU Council President , is a position within the institutional structure of the European Union that was created by the Treaty of Lisbon . The President chairs the meetings of the European Council , the body of heads of state and government of the EU, but has no voting rights there. The office replaced the previous chairman of the European Council .

The Belgian Charles Michel has been President of the European Council since December 1, 2019 .


The President is elected by the European Council for a term of two and a half years ( Art. 15 TEU ). A qualified majority is required for election , with which he can also be removed from office. Confirmation by the European Parliament is not required. The president can be re-elected once. During his term of office, he is not allowed to hold any national office.

The President's duties include preparing the work of the European Council. He should “at his level and in his capacity, without prejudice to the powers of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, exercise the external representation of the Union in matters of common foreign and security policy ” ( Art. 15 TEU ).

The official salary corresponds to that of the Commission President , which is around 270,000 euros. In fulfilling his duties, the President is supported by the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union and he has his own staff at his disposal in the form of the President's Cabinet . Its official seat is the Europa building in Brussels. His office and the work rooms of his employees are located in the historical part of the building, the Résidence Palace.

The impact of the President of the European Council on the position of the Commission President is open. If one compares their roles with those in democratic states, they show similarities with the relationship between the head of state and the head of government (whereby the European Council can also be understood as a “collective head of state”). It is widely feared that the community character of the European Union will be endangered by the dual leadership, also because of the lack of legitimation of the President of the European Council by the European Parliament. In the run-up to the negotiations on the Treaty on a Constitution for Europe , the contents of which were taken up in the Treaty of Lisbon , a merger of the two offices, the so-called big double hat, was discussed . Ultimately, however, there was no majority for this. However, it was not expressly excluded in the contract that the same person could be nominated for both offices if the political will to do so exists in the future.

President of the European Council since 2009

President of the European Council
No. image Name (life data) Political party Country of origin Taking office Term expires Length of term of office
1 Herman Van Rompuy - World Economic Forum on Europe 2010 2.jpg Herman Van Rompuy

(* 1947)

EVP ( CD&V ) BelgiumBelgium Belgium December 1, 2009 November 30, 2014 5 years
2 2014 - Donald Tusk (16) .jpg Donald Tusk

(* 1957)

EVP ( PO ) PolandPoland Poland 1st December 2014 November 30, 2019 5 years
3 Charles Michel (politician) .jpg Charles Michel

(* 1975)

ALDE ( MR ) BelgiumBelgium Belgium 1st December 2019

Herman Van Rompuy (2009-2014)

At a summit meeting of EU heads of state and government on November 19, 2009, the Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy ( EPP ) was elected as the first President of the European Council. He took office on December 1, 2009. The following summit of the European Council on December 10 and 11, 2009, was chaired by the Swedish Presidency , Van Rompuy only took part. From January 1, 2010 Van Rompuy held the office in full. On March 1, 2012, Van Rompuy was confirmed in office by the European heads of state and government for a further two and a half years (June 1, 2012 to November 30, 2014). His head of cabinet was Franciskus van Daele from 2009 to 2012 , after which Didier Seeuws took over this function.

Donald Tusk (2014-2019)

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk ( EPP ) was elected Van Rompuy's successor at the EU summit on August 30, 2014 in Brussels . He took office on December 1, 2014. His head of cabinet has been Piotr Serafin since 2014 .

On March 4, 2017, the Polish Foreign Ministry nominated Szydło Jacek Saryusz-Wolski as the opposing candidate under the cabinet in order to prevent Donald Tusk from being re-elected. With the exception of Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydło ( PiS ), all the other 27 members of the European Council opted for a second term of office for Tusk.

Charles Michel (since 2019)

Charles Michel succeeded Donald Tusk on December 1, 2019 ; before he was President of the European Council , he was Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b The role of the President - Consilium. Retrieved May 19, 2017 .
  2. Article 1 (1) of the Council Decision of December 1, 2009 on the Conditions of Employment of the President of the European Council, OJ. 2009 L 322, 35.
  3. Europa Building - Consilium. Retrieved May 19, 2017 .
  4. Cf. “New leaders give the European Union face and stature!” , Resolution of the Europa-Union Deutschland of May 17, 2008.
  5. Tagesschau : New EU leadership duo nominated , November 19, 2009.
  6. Implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon (PDF file; 107 kB)
  7. Van Rompuy's agenda for the week from 7 to 13 December 2009 (PDF file; 71 kB).
  8. New EU leadership: Tusk becomes President of the Council, Mogherini foreign representative . Spiegel Online, August 30, 2014, accessed on the same day.
  9. Donald Tusk re-elected as EU Council President. In: Zeit Online . March 9, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2017 .
  10. ^ Charles Michel, President of the European Council. Retrieved April 27, 2020 .