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European Council

The European Council decides upon the general direction of the policies of the European Union. The European Council consists of the heads of state or government of the 27 member countries, and the Presidents of the Commission, and the Council. They meet 4 times a year, and generally take decisions by consensus. At the plenary session of the European Council the heads of state/government gather together to give direction to the EU's political persuasion, and decide upon the priorities of the policies to be conducted, but have not the power to pass law. The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the EU is set within the consideration of the EU interests by the heads of state/government.

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