The European Council defines the EU’s overall political direction and priorities. The European Council stimulates the development of the Union and defines its general political agenda and priorities, but it is not one of the EU’s legislating bodies. The European Council adopts also a "strategic agenda" of priority areas for longer-term EU action and focus.
The members of the European Council are the heads of state or government of EU Member States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy also takes part in its work.
The European Council meets at least four times every year. The European Council President can also convene extraordinary meetings when needed.