The Council of the European Union (Council of the EU) is one of the decision-making bodies of the EU. The Council of the EU in association with the European Parliament, either through the consultation procedure or through co-decision, takes decisions on proposals of the European Commission.
The ministers of the member states meet within the Council of the EU. Depending on the issues on the agenda there are different formations of the Council of the EU: General Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Economic and Financial Affairs, Justice and Home Affairs, Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs, Competitiveness (internal market, industry, research and space), Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Environment Council, Education, youth, culture and sport.
Decisions of the Council of the EU are prepared by more than 200 working parties and committees comprising delegates from the EU member states. They resolve technical issues and forward dossier to the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER), made up of the member states’ ambassadors to the EU, which ensures consistency in the work and prepares dossiers to the Council of the EU. The Council of the EU holds discussions, gives political guidelines for further work, takes decisions and approves laws of the EU.
Latvia is represented in the Council of the EU by the minister responsible for the respective issues on the agenda. Ambassador, Permanent Representative and Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative represent Latvia in the COREPER. Experts of the line ministries participate in the working groups and committees.
The European Council defines the general political directions and priorities of the EU. The European Council consists of the Heads of State or Government of the member states, together with President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia represents Latvia in the European Council meetings.