Every member state has a permanent representation of civil servants in Brussels. This representation is led by an Ambassador to the EU who is called the Permanent Representative. 

The ambassadors meet in a committee called COREPER II and their substitutes/representatives in COREPER I to prepare all Council decisions. 

COREPER controls 275 working groups under the Council. In these groups the adoption of some 85% of all EU legislation effectively takes place, to be formally approved without discussion at Council meetings. Only 15% or so of draft lEU aws are actually discussed or negotiated in the Council.  

Coreper II is helped by the Antici group of high-ranking diplomats. Another working group called Friends of the Presidency helps to find compromises in delicate and difficult matters. Coreper I is helped by the so-called Mertens group.



- COREPER II deals with Foreign and Security policy, Development, Finance and Economic policies, Police and Judicial Co-operation, and Budget and Institutional issues. 

- COREPER I deals with the Internal Market, sectorial policies, etc. 

- There is also a special committee for agriculture, the CSA and special working groups for trade, EMU questions and foreign policy - the PSC group of ambassadors with a preparatory group called the Nicolaidis group.

- The Lisbon Treaty has a special article on COREPER in Article 240 TFEU.