President of the European Council

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President of the European Council
Council of the EU and European Council.svg
Emblem of European Council
Flag of Europe.svg
Charles Michel (politician).jpg
Incumbent
Charles Michel

since 1 December 2019
European Council
StyleMr. President
StatusPresiding and chief administrative officer
Member ofEuropean Council (non-voting)
ResidenceEuropa building
SeatBrussels, Belgium
AppointerEuropean Council
by qualified majority
Term length2.5 years, renewable once
Constituting instrumentTreaties of the European Union
PrecursorChairman of the European Council
Formation1 December 2009
First holderHerman Van Rompuy
Websiteconsilium.europa.eu

The President of the European Council is a position that was created by the Treaty of Lisbon. The President is the chairman of the European Council, which is the meeting of the leaders of all the member states.

Background[change | change source]

It's a very diplomatic figure, and it's not like a head of state: the President does not have any power to make decisions about the European Union. The Union has several other presidents, such as the president of the European Parliament and the president of the European Commission. But the President of the European Council, casually but wrongly known as The President of Europe, is the face by which the European Union is known to the rest of the world. The more practical aspects of this task are the responsibility of the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, the Commissioner responsible for external affairs.

On 2 July 2019, the European Council elected Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as the successor to Donald Tusk as President of the European Council for the period from 1 December 2019 to 31 May 2022.[1]

List of president[change | change source]

Rotating presidents (1975–2009)[change | change source]

Year Period Office Holder European party State
1975 Jan–Jun Liam Cosgrave European People's Party  Ireland
Jul–Dec Aldo Moro European People's Party  Italy
1976 Jan–Jun Gaston Thorn Liberal and Democratic Group  Luxembourg
Jul–Dec Joop den Uyl Party of European Socialists  Netherlands
1977 Jan–Jun James Callaghan Party of European Socialists  United Kingdom
Jul–Dec Leo Tindemans European People's Party  Belgium
1978 Jan–Jun Anker Jørgensen Party of European Socialists  Denmark
Jul–Dec Helmut Schmidt Party of European Socialists  West Germany
1979 Jan–Jun Valéry Giscard d'Estaing European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party  France
Jul–Dec Jack Lynch European Progressive Democrats  Ireland
Dec Charles Haughey European Progressive Democrats
1980 Jan–Jun Francesco Cossiga European People's Party  Italy
Jul–Dec Pierre Werner European People's Party  Luxembourg
1981 Jan–Jun Dries van Agt European People's Party  Netherlands
Jul–Dec Margaret Thatcher Independent  United Kingdom
1982 Jan–Jun Wilfried Martens European People's Party  Belgium
Jul–Sep Anker Jørgensen Party of European Socialists  Denmark
Sep–Dec Poul Schlüter European People's Party
1983 Jan–Jun Helmut Kohl European People's Party  West Germany
Jul–Dec Andreas Papandreou Party of European Socialists  Greece
1984 Jan–Jun François Mitterrand Party of European Socialists  France
Jul–Dec Garret FitzGerald European People's Party  Ireland
1985 Jan–Jun Bettino Craxi Party of European Socialists  Italy
Jul–Dec Jacques Santer European People's Party  Luxembourg
1986 Jan–Jun Ruud Lubbers European People's Party  Netherlands
Jul–Dec Margaret Thatcher Independent  United Kingdom
1987 Jan–Jun Wilfried Martens European People's Party  Belgium
Jul–Dec Poul Schlüter European People's Party  Denmark
1988 Jan–Jun Helmut Kohl European People's Party  West Germany
Jul–Dec Andreas Papandreou Party of European Socialists  Greece
1989 Jan–Jun Felipe González Party of European Socialists  Spain
Jul–Dec François Mitterrand Party of European Socialists  France
1990 Jan–Jun Charles Haughey European Democratic Alliance  Ireland
Jul–Dec Giulio Andreotti European People's Party  Italy
1991 Jan–Jun Jacques Santer European People's Party  Luxembourg
Jul–Dec Ruud Lubbers European People's Party  Netherlands
1992 Jan–Jun Aníbal Cavaco Silva European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party  Portugal
Jul–Dec John Major Independent  United Kingdom
1993 Jan Poul Schlüter European People's Party  Denmark
Jan–Jun Poul Nyrup Rasmussen Party of European Socialists
Jul–Dec Jean-Luc Dehaene European People's Party  Belgium
1994 Jan–Jun Andreas Papandreou Party of European Socialists  Greece
Jul–Dec Helmut Kohl European People's Party  Germany
1995 Jan–May François Mitterrand Party of European Socialists  France
May–Jun Jacques Chirac Independent
Jul–Dec Felipe González Party of European Socialists  Spain
1996 Jan–May Lamberto Dini European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party  Italy
May–Jun Romano Prodi Party of European Socialists
Jul–Dec John Bruton European People's Party  Ireland
1997 Jan–Jun Wim Kok Party of European Socialists  Netherlands
Jul–Dec Jean-Claude Juncker European People's Party  Luxembourg
1998 Jan–Jun Tony Blair Party of European Socialists  United Kingdom
Jul–Dec Viktor Klima Party of European Socialists  Austria
1999 Jan–Jun Gerhard Schröder Party of European Socialists  Germany
Jul–Dec Paavo Lipponen Party of European Socialists  Finland
2000 Jan–Jun António Guterres Party of European Socialists  Portugal
Jul–Dec Jacques Chirac European People's Party  France
2001 Jan–Jun Göran Persson Party of European Socialists  Sweden
Jul–Dec Guy Verhofstadt European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party  Belgium
2002 Jan–Jun José María Aznar European People's Party  Spain
Jul–Dec Anders Fogh Rasmussen European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party  Denmark
2003 Jan–Jun Costas Simitis Party of European Socialists  Greece
Jul–Dec Silvio Berlusconi European People's Party  Italy
2004 Jan–Jun Bertie Ahern Union for Europe of the Nations  Ireland
Jul–Dec Jan Peter Balkenende European People's Party  Netherlands
2005 Jan–Jun Jean-Claude Juncker European People's Party  Luxembourg
Jul–Dec Tony Blair Party of European Socialists  United Kingdom
2006 Jan–Jun Wolfgang Schüssel European People's Party  Austria
Jul–Dec Matti Vanhanen European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party  Finland
2007 Jan–Jun Angela Merkel European People's Party  Germany
Jul–Dec José Sócrates Party of European Socialists  Portugal
2008 Jan–Jun Janez Janša European People's Party  Slovenia
Jul–Dec Nicolas Sarkozy European People's Party  France
2009 Jan–May Mirek Topolánek Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists  Czech Republic
May–Jun Jan Fischer Independent
Jul–Nov Fredrik Reinfeldt European People's Party  Sweden

Permanent presidents (since 2009)[change | change source]

Portrait Name
(birth–death)
Country Term of office European political party National political party
1 Herman Van Rompuy Herman Van Rompuy
(born 1947)
 Belgium 1 December 2009 30 November 2014[2]

EPP CD&V
Previously Prime Minister of Belgium (2008–2009), Van Rompuy was the first permanent officeholder, chosen as a low profile consensus builder. He led a task force on reforming the EU's economic governance, drafting the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) treaty and amendment. He is a supporter of greater economic integration but against the accession of Turkey to the EU.
2 Donald Tusk Donald Tusk
(born 1957)
 Poland 1 December 2014[3] 30 November 2019 EPP PO
Previously Prime Minister of Poland (2007–2014), he is the longest serving head of government of the Third Republic of Poland. Tusk's Civic Platform won a plurality of seats in the 2011 parliamentary election, meaning that he became the first Polish Prime Minister to be reelected since the fall of communism.
3 Charles Michel Charles Michel
(born 1975)
 Belgium 1 December 2019 ALDE MR
Prime Minister of Belgium (since 2014).

References[change | change source]

  1. Special meeting of the European Council (30 June, 1 and 2 July 2019) – Conclusions
  2. "Herman Van Rompuy re-elected president" (PDF). Council of the European Union. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  3. "Poland's Donald Tusk takes over as EU Council president". Deutsche Welle. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.