General Affairs Council (GAC)

Source: Europa Nu.

The General Affairs Council (GAC) consists of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the European Union. The Council covers topics that affect more than one policy area; for example negotiations on enlargement, negotiations on the multi-annual financial framework and the preparation of institutional and administrative matters.

This Council prepares - along with the president of the European Council and with the European Commission - the meetings of the European Council. This Council deals with matters it is entrusted to by the European Council. GAC also coordinates work on policies by the other council formations.

In the Council of the European Union, the ministers from the EU Member States take a joint decision on the policy to be implemented within the EU. The Council is supported by the Committee of Permanent Representatives, which prepares decisions and guards the implementation and adherence of the decisions monitored by the Council.

The General Affairs Council meets once a month.



The General Affairs Council was established when the Lisbon Treaty came into force. Up until 1 December 2009, the Council was part of the General Affairs & External Relations Council.


Relevant policy fields

This council deals with, among others, the following policy areas:

  • institutional policy
  • enlargement policy
  • fiscal policy