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Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council
The European Summit is a meeting of the heads of states or governments of the Member States of the European Union.
It is chaired by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, in cooperation with the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso. The High Representative for Foreign Affairs, currently Catherine Ashton, is also present at the meetings.
The Summit provides an impetus for the major political issues relating to European integration: amendments to the treaties and changes to the institutions, declarations on external relations in the context of the common foreign and security policy, etc.
It also serves as a forum for top-level political discussion in crisis situations and it endeavors to resolve disagreements between Member States.
European Summit usually takes place four times a year.