The European Council brings together EU leaders to set the EU's political agenda. It represents the highest level of political cooperation between EU countries.
One of the EU's 7 official institutions, the Council takes the form of (usually quarterly) summit meetings between EU leaders, chaired by a permanent president.
On each issue, the European Council can:
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Infographic: ABC of the EU institutions
It is convened and chaired by its President, who is elected by the European Council itself for a once-renewable two-and-a-half-year term. The President represents the EU to the outside world.
It usually meets 4 times a year – but the President can convene additional meetings to address urgent issues.
You can put general about the Council's work to its Public Information Service.