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Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers is the EU institution which represents the EU member states. It is a many-headed creature and may bring together government ministers from each country, heads of government, ambassadors, or merely government officials.

A summit meeting of heads of government is known as a European Council, while a meeting of ambassadors (or permanent representatives as they are termed) goes under the name Coreper.

Many decisions are made by officials meeting in technical committees and are then merely rubber-stamped by ministers.

Unlike the Commission, the Council of Ministers is not a supranational body but an intergovernmental one.

It should not be confused with the European Council, which is the name given to the regular meetings - sometimes called summits - of the EU member states' heads of state or government.

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The Justus Libsius building, Brussels

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