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European Legal Systems Assignment 1 Under art 202 EC treaty the functions of the Council are stated as being to ensure that the objectives of the EC treaty are attained and to ensure the co-ordination of economic policies of member states The Council of the European Union also known as the Council of Ministers is the institution which shares legislative and budgetary power with parliament It is the main decision making body within the European Union The Council is specified in Articles 202 to 210ex 145 to 154 which is the main political institution of the EC It comprises government from each of the fifteen member states The Council meets every week in Brussels in Belgium except for April June and October when they meet in Luxembourg The Council consists of one government minister from every member state Although there is only one Council different groups meet depending on what topic is being discussed at the weekly meetings For example the Minister for Agriculture for each member state would attend a meeting if there was an issue about agriculture ie farm prices If the matters relate to general economic policy the Chancellors may be present where high-level policy matters will be discussed the Council may consist of Heads of State Each Government acts as a president of the Council for six months which is held on a rotational basis At the moment Denmark is President and then in Greece for the first half of 2003 Because the Presidency of the Council is only held for six months at a time it has been criticised that the period is too short for individual ministers to acquire expertise in the role I would disagree with this criticism because it gives the other member states the chance to introduce their new and fresh studies but extending the Presidency to a year at a time would probably be a more suitable idea Since
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