An extremely important institution for the proper functioning of the European Union.
The task of the European Council is giving impetuous to the EU to encourage its development and outline its strategies, without exercise any legislative function. The Council doesn’t enact legal acts, it adopts Declarations, orientations and political guidelines; they are legally binding since Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties.
The Council is made up by thirty members, Heads of State or Government from member states, and the President of the European Council, which is elected by qualified majority for a term of two and a half years, corresponding to Parliamentary terms. Being the President of the European Council is an exclusive and full-time work. The current President is Donald Tusk, that’s interesting because his State -Poland- didn’t want to let Tusk hold that office.
It is a non-continuous functioning institution, as it just exist when it is called by the President four times per year. However, it is planned to call Extraordinary meetings concerning relevant issues, such as an international crisis.
Brussels is the city where European Council meetings take place, but until 2003 they were carried out in one of the cities of Council Presidency state.