General Affairs Council (GAC) was established as a singular entity under the jurisdiction of the Council of the European Union with the Treaty of Lisbon signed and ratified by the member states in 2009. Prior to that date, GAC had had a unified status with the Foreign Affairs Council, under the name of ‘General Affairs and External Relations Council’. As stated in Article 16 of the Treaty, the functions of the General Affairs Council are specified to supervise the agenda and content of work of nine other configurations affiliated with the Council of the European Union and make sure that there are no contradictions or instabilities in between. In addition to this role, the Council is responsible for preparing the outlook of the meetings of the European Council, with the means of examining the drafts of conclusions on the proposed agenda. As a council that focuses more on the internal affairs of the EU, GAC deals with the institutional, fiscal and enlargement policies of the organization. As an up-to-date example, Great Britain exiting the European Union falls mainly under the scope of the GAC. The Council consists of the ministers of European affairs of the member states, though in differing circumstances, more junior or senior figures may be allocated by the countries. Currently under the presidency of the Estonian delegation, GAC will prioritize discussions on the enhancement of the needs and interests of the EU citizens, protection of human rights and rule of law in both member states and candidates for the enlargement of the organization and progress made on the cohesion policy with a special emphasis on how better results can be reached to ensure that the regional disparities between the European countries in terms of economic development can be eradicated.
Under-Secretary General Responsible for the Committee: Ali Demir firstname.lastname@example.org
Agenda item: rule of law and reform of EU institutions