European Union in 2017: Background Information

This House of Lords Library briefing provides background information about EU member states, identifies key election dates in member states in 2017 when the European Council is due to meet and lists the individuals who are current members of the European Council.

You can download the full report from House of Lords Library here.

Member Date Joined Number of MEPs Euro Zone Membership Schengen Membership Council of the European Union Presidency 2017–2030
Austria 1995 18 1999 YES Jul–Dec 2018
Belgium 1958 21 1999 YES Jan–Jun 2024
Bulgaria 2007 17 N/A NO Jan–Jun 2018
Croatia 2013 11 N/A NO Jan–Jun 2020
Cyprus 2004 6 2008 NO Jan–Jun 2026
The Czech Republic 2004 22 N/A YES Jul–Dec 2022
Denmark 1973 13 N/A YES Jul–Dec 2025
Estonia 2004 6 2011 YES Jul–Dec 2017
Finland 1995 13 1999 YES Jul–Dec 2019
France 1958 74 1999 YES Jan–Jun 2022
Germany 1958 96 1999 YES Jul–Dec 2020
Greece 1981 21 2001 YES Jul–Dec 2027
Hungary 2004 22 N/A YES Jul–Dec 2024
Ireland 1973 11 1999 NO Jul–Dec 2026
Italy 1958 73 1999 YES Jan–Jun 2028
Latvia 2004 8 2014 YES Jul–Dec 2028
Lithuania 2004 11 2015 YES Jan–Jun 2027
Luxembourg 1958 6 1999 YES Jan–Jun 2029
Malta 2004 6 2008 YES

Jan–Jun 2017

Jul–Dec 2030

Netherlands 1958 26 1999 YES Jul–Dec 2029
Poland 2004 51 N/A YES Jan–Jun 2025
Portugal 1986 21 1999 YES Jan–Jun 2021
Romania 2007 32 N/A NO Jan–Jun 2019
Slovakia 2004 13 2009 YES Jan–Jun 2030
Slovenia 2004 8 2007 YES Jul–Dec 2021
Spain 1986 54 1999 YES Jul–Dec 2023
Sweden 1995 20 N/A YES Jan–Jun 2023
United Kingdom 1973 73 N/A NO N/A

Elections in the Member States in 2017

  • France’s presidential elections are set for 23 April 2017, with a second-round run-off on 7 May 2017 if required.
  • German federal elections are due to take place by October 2017. Unless it is dissolved early, in accordance with German Basic Law, 23 August 2017 is the earliest date on which the elections could be held, the latest possible date would be 22 October 2017.

European Council Meetings in 2017

  • 3 February: informal meeting of EU heads of state or government
  • 8 March: Tripartite Social Summit
  • 9–10 March: European Council
  • 22–23 June: European Council
  • 19–20 October: European Council

Members of the European Council

Name Position Held Member State
Donald Tusk President of the European Council N/A
Christian Kern Federal Chancellor Austria
Charles Michel Prime Minister Belgium
Boyko Borissov Prime Minister Bulgaria
Andrej Plenković Prime Minister Croatia
Nicos Anastasiades President of the Republic Cyprus
Bohuslav Sobotka Prime Minister Czech Republic
Lars Løkke Rasmussen Prime Minister Denmark
Enda Kenny Taoiseach Ireland
Jüri Ratas Prime Minister Estonia
Juha Sipilä Prime Minister Finland
François Hollande President of the Republic France
Angela Merkel Federal Chancellor Germany
Alexis Tsipras Prime Minister Greece
Viktor Orbán Prime Minister Hungary
Paolo Gentiloni Prime Minister Italy
Māris Kučinskis Prime Minister Latvia
Xavier Bettel Prime Minister Luxembourg
Dalia Grybauskaitė President of the Republic Lithuania
Joseph Muscat Prime Minister Malta
Mark Rutte Prime Minister Netherlands
Beata Szydlo Prime Minister Poland
António Costa Prime Minister Portugal
Klaus Werner Iohannis President Romania
Robert Fico Prime Minister Slovakia
Miro Cerar Prime Minister Slovenia
Mariano Rajoy Brey President of the Government Spain
Stefan Löfven Prime Minister Sweden
Theresa May Prime Minister the United Kingdom
Jean-Claude Juncker President of the European Commission N/A