The European Council is, probably, the most influential political institution of the European Union. Its functions include the definition of the political orientation of the European Union, the formulation of the European political priorities, therefore, the formulation of the political agenda and the promotion of strategic actions. The European Council takes decisions of great political significance. For example, the European Council agrees on the reform of the treaties. The treaties establish the rules of the institutional game, and therefore, any change in those rules requires a reform of the treaties, and that is agreed by the European Council. The European Council also decides on any aspect related to enlargement to new states that want to join the European Union. The European Council also defines the position of the European Union regarding Brexit, or defines the guidelines in relation to the European strategy in the fight against climate change. It also defines the European position on foreign policy matters, and finally, as an important example, the European Council also elects or appoints institutional positions of the European Union. For example, the president of the European Council himself, or the President of the European Central Bank. Therefore, the European Council takes far-reaching political decisions. What is the composition of the European Council? Who are the protagonists of those decisions? The European Council is essentially comprised of national political leaders, that is, the heads of state and/ or the government of the Member States. Therefore, the European summits are attended by the German Chancellor, the President of the French Republic, the Belgian and Italian Prime Ministers, the President of Government of Spain... It is the European political leaders who discuss, negotiate and agree on decisions. The European Council is also composed of its own president, the President of the European Council. A stable president. Its duties? First of all, the President of the European Council presides the meetings of the European Council, the European summits. He also organizes the preparatory work for the meetings to ensure its continuity. The President of the European Council also has a role as a consensus facilitator. That is, he tries to identify spaces for agreement, between the positions of European leaders. It must be said that the influence of the President in the decisions of the European Council is quite conditioned by the fact, first, that he does not have the right of veto and, more importantly, it is conditioned by the national leadership within the Council, and is also determined by the political and economic context at each moment. Finally, the President of the European Commission, is also a member of the European Council. And, like the President of the European Council, he does not have the right of veto. How are decisions made in the European Council? The usual rule is that in the European Council decisions are taken by consensus. That is, a vote is not normally used. Decisions are made by identifying a consensus among national leaders. Some decisions can be taken unanimously. For example, those related to enlargement to a new Member State. Also, some decisions can be taken by a qualified majority. For example, the election of the President of the European Central Bank or the election of high institutional positions of the European Union. To sum up, the European Council is the institution, that has the highest degree of political influence on the strategic decisions of the European Union, these decisions are the result of negotiation and agreement between national leaders. However, it is very important to bear in mind that the European Council does not have a legislative capacity. It does not intervene at any time in the process of drafting legislative acts in the European Union. The institutions that do participate in the legislative process, that do have the capacity to intervene in the process of preparing legislative acts are, the Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of the European Union. Well, let's start with the European Commission. The European Commission is the institution in charge of ensuring the European interest. It clearly has a supranational character. It defends the European interest. The Commission is assigned several important functions in the European political process. First, it proposes legislation. In most occasions, to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. Is the initiatior of legislation. In preparing these legislative proposals, the European Commission, carries out several consultations. With interest groups, civil society associations, experts and even citizens. The European Commission also has executive functions. When the Parliament and Council have adopted a legislative act, they, very often, entrust the Commission to draw up a proposal for an implementing act to ensure a more homogeneous implementation of the legislative act, the directive or the regulation in the Member States. The Commission also has budgetary functions. The Commission proposes the annual budget of the European Union, and it also manages some European funding programs. The Commission also ensures, together with the Court of Justice of the European Union the compliance of European law. Therefore, it is the guardian of the treaties. For example, if the Commission detects that a Member State has violated a European directive, it can initiate an infringement proceeding against that Member State. Finally, the European Commission has also international representation functions. For example, it participates in the negotiations of international agreements, especially in the field of trade, and also represents the European Union, for example in the G7. In summary, the European Commission is a supranational institution that represents the European interest, watches for it and has various functions, such as initiator of legislation, executive, budgetary and representative functions and is also the guardian of the treaties.