Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC)

Coreper is the Council's main preparatory body. All items to be included into the Council's agenda (except for some agricultural matters) must first be examined by Coreper, unless the Council decides otherwise.

It is not an EU decision-making body, and any agreement it reaches can be called into question by the Council, which alone has the power to make decisions.

Main tasks

  • coordinates and prepares the work of the different Council configurations
  • ensures consistency of the EU's policies
  • works out agreements and compromises which are then submitted for adoption by the Council

Composition and configurations

Coreper is composed of the 'permanent representatives' from each member state, who, in effect, are their country's ambassadors to the EU. They express the position of their government.

Coreper meets every week in two configurations: Coreper I i and Coreper II i.

Following the notification by the United Kingdom under Article 50 TEU, the members of the European Council, the Council and its preparatory bodies representing the United Kingdom do not participate in the discussions or in decisions concerning it. In these instances, Coreper (Article 50) i is convened.


Preparatory work

Coreper i's meetings are prepared by 2 groups, each named after its first chairperson:

'Mertens Group', which prepares the work of Coreper I i

'Antici Group', which prepares the work of Coreper II i

These informal groups help to form an initial idea of the positions that the various member state delegations will take at the Coreper meeting.