Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH)
The AGRIFISH Council works towards the implementation of the common agricultural policy (CAP), food production, rural development and the management of fisheries. The AGRIFISH Council generally holds meetings once a month and is made up of ministers in charge of agriculture and fisheries from the 28 member states. Through the CAP, the Council’s competence spans across the areas of forestry, organic production, quality of production as well as food and animal feed safety. Through the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the Council can adopt new legislation and allocate fishing quotas to the member states in a bid to address the issues of over-fishing.
Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN)
The ECOFIN Council is made up of the Ministers for Economic and Financial Affairs from all the member states, who meet once a month. It is in charge of the EU’s policies across the areas of economy, taxation and the regulation of financial services. Specifically, to address issues such as the coordination of economic policies, the monitoring of the financial and budgetary policy of member states, the policies concerning the euro, financial markets, transactions and relations with third countries.
Together with the European Parliament, the ECOFIN Council prepares the annual budget of the European Union. It also coordinates EU positions for international meetings, such as the G20, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Competitiveness Council (COMPET)
The COMPET Council works towards enhancing competitiveness and boosting EU growth with a focus on sectors such as the internal market, industry, research, innovation and aerospace. According to the topic being discussed, the COMPET Council brings together ministers responsible for trade, economy, industry, research and innovation and aerospace from all EU member states. It works to uphold the free movement of products across internal borders and to integrate industrial policies with the other areas of the EU policies. The COMPET Council also helps bolster the scientific and technological basis of the European industry and participates in the Union’s aerospace policy.
Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council (EYCS)
The EYCS Council deals with a number of issues involving teaching, cultural dissemination, youth and sport. The EYCS Council brings together ministers responsible for education, culture, youth policies, communication and sports so as to promote student and teacher mobility, inspire the arts, literature and the audio-visual sector.
Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO)
The EPSCO Council’s responsibilities range across the areas of social protection, employment, consumer protection, health and equal opportunities. The EPSCO Council is composed of ministers responsible for employment, social affairs, health and consumer policy from all member states. The Council generally meets four times a year with two of its meetings exclusively dedicated to employment and social policy. The EPSCO Council works towards achieving better employment levels, improving the standard of living and working conditions.
Environment Council (ENV)
The ENV Council is responsible for the EU’s environment policy, including environmental protection, prudent use of resources and the protection of human health. It generally meets four times a year and brings together environment ministers from all the member states. They table discussions on EU environmental policies and work to mitigate climate change by participating in international fora. It also strives to promote the EU’s environmental standards on an international scale.
Foreign Affairs Council (FAC)
The FAC Council is responsible for the EU foreign policy, defence and security, trade, development cooperation and humanitarian aid. It meets once a month in different configurations. According to the agenda, the FAC Council brings together foreign, defence, development and trade ministers from all the Member States. Its meetings are chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.
General Affairs Council (GAC)
The GAC Council deals with a number of horizontal issues such as enlargement negotiations, cohesion policy, the adoption of a Multiannual Financial Framework and the institutional setup of the EU. The GAC is made up of European Affairs Ministers from the 28 member states. It generally meets once a month to coordinate the preparation and the follow up to the meetings of the European Council and ensure efficiency in the work of the Council configurations.
Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA)
The JHA Council deals with a variety of cross-border issues such as judicial cooperation, crime and terrorism, immigration, protection of external borders and asylum seekers with the aim of ensuring freedom, security and justice. It meets twice every six months and meets in two configurations for Justice Ministers and Home Affairs Ministers.
Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE)
The TTE Council works to achieve the EU’s objectives in the fields of transport, communications and energy. The configuration of the TTE Council varies according to the items on the agenda. Transport ministers usually meet four times a year while telecommunications ministers meet twice a year. Energy ministers meet three or four times a year.