The European Council is composed of the Heads of State or Government of the Member States, its President and the President of the Commission. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy also takes part in the Council’s work.
The European Council meets at least four times a year to identify EU’s development priorities and define the related general political guidelines, without taking part in the legislative function. It also determines the EU's foreign and security policy and nominates and elects candidates for high-profile positions within Union's institutions.
The President is elected by the members of the European Council for a term of two and a half years, renewable once. He/She presides over meetings, ensures continuity of activities and represents the EU at the highest level on the international stage. It does not have the possibility of exercising a national mandate.
The current President of the European Council is Belgian Charles Michel, who began his first mandate on 1 December 2019.