Article 15 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) establishes the position of president of the European Council. The President is elected by the European Council by a qualified majority for a term of 2½ years, renewable once. He/she cannot simultaneously hold any national office.
The main functions of the President are:
- to independently and impartially chair and drive the European Council;
- to prepare the Council’s work and ensure its continuity in cooperation with the President of the Commission and on the basis of the work of the General Affairs Council;
- to seek cohesion and consensus among member countries;
- to ensure the EU’s representation on issues concerning the common foreign and security policy without prejudice to the powers of the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
- to report to the Parliament about the work of the European Council.
On 1 December 2014, Donald Tusk succeeded Herman Van Rompuy as President of the European Council.
Source: EUR Lex Glossary