The European Council is the highest political steering committee of the EU. It is composed of the heads of state or government of the member states, the President of the European Commission, and its own President. The European Council defines the general political priorities of the EU and provides important momentum for its development. It also decides on the foreign policy positions of the EU. The European Council has had a permanent President since the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force. The President does not hold any other political office: his or her task is to ensure the continuity of the work of the European Council, which meets at least four times annually.