The Difference Between

The European Council, Council of Europe and The Council of the EU

If you want to survive to one of the most complicated Squid Game, you must know the difference between the European Council, Council of Europe and the Council of the EU!


No, they are not the same; even one of them is not even an EU institution. What can we do? They decided to give them almost identical names, and that led to confusion. 


I imagine you have already seen the meme on Twitter regarding the challenge of telling the difference between the European Council, Council of Europe and the Council of the EU as one more game in the so popular Netflix series: “The Squid Game.”


Here I am to give you a hand! Even working in this field and as a Law graduate and Master of Law student, I get confused by their names from time to time. Shall we give it a review?


The European Council. POLITICAL BODY OF THE EU


It is the Union’s main decision-making body, and its role is to give the EU political impetus on critical issues and set the EU’s overall priorities. The Council exercises functions of general political orientation and external representation and appoints the heads of the high constitutional institutions. 


The Council of the EU




It represents the governments of each of the Member States, which share its Presidency on a rotating basis. The Council is an important EU decision-maker. It negotiates and adopts legislative acts in most cases together with the European Parliament through the ordinary legislative procedure.


The Council of Europe




The Council of Europe is not part of the European Union. It is an international organisation outside the EU that defends, protects and promotes Human Rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.


It is the continent’s leading human rights organisation. It includes 47 member states, 27 of which are members of the European Union, that have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights.


If you want to go deeper and know how they are composed and the functions these bodies perform, let’s do it! Because maybe from this information, it depends on whether or not you can answer a specific question in the game!


Functions and composition of the European Council 


The European Council defines the EU’s overall political direction and priorities by setting the EU’s policy agenda.


It is composed of The European Council President, the heads of states or government of the 27 EU Member States, and the European Commission’s President.


The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy also participates in European Council meetings when foreign affairs issues are discussed.


Functions and composition of the Council of the EU


The Council negotiates and adopts legislative acts in most cases together with the European Parliament; coordinates Member States’ policies in specific fields; develops the EU’s standard foreign and security policy; concludes International agreements; and adopts the EU budget together with the Parliament. 


The Presidency of the Council is a rotating system among the EU Member States every six months. 


Member states holding the Presidency work together in groups of three, called “trios”. They prepare a common agenda determining the topics and major issues the Council will address over 18 months.


Now, the trio is made up of the presidencies of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. 


Functions and composition of the Council Europe


The Council of Europe is in charge of promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms through international conventions. Also, it makes recommendations and monitors the progress of the member states.


It espouses freedom of expression and the media, freedom of assembly, equality, justice and fights corruption, unfairness and discrimination.


The Council of Europe has two regulatory bodies: the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the Committee of Ministers. Its other organs are the Secretary-General and the Congress of Local and Regional Powers, whose members represent the local.



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