EMBL Council

The EMBL Council determines the Laboratory’s policy in scientific, technical and administrative matters, in particular by giving guidelines to the Director General.


The Council is composed of all member states of the Laboratory. Each member state is represented by up to two delegates, who may be accompanied by advisors.

The EMBL Council is chaired by Professor Eirikur Steingrimsson (IS). His vice-chairs are Professor Anne Paoletti (FR) and Professor Peter Becker (DE). The Council elects a chair and two vice-chairs who hold office for one year and may be re-elected on not more than two consecutive occasions.

Member states of the European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC) may attend the Council meeting as of right as observers. States not members of the EMBC may take part as observers by unanimous vote of the member states present and voting.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee assists the Council in the financial management and control of EMBL.

Scientific Advisory Committee

Council establishes the Scientific Advisory Committee, which gives advice to Council, in particular with regard to proposals from the Director General on the realisation of the programme of the Laboratory.

There are two Council meetings per year
– one in summer, one in winter

Council Secretariat

The Council Secretariat is responsible for the organisation, preparation and execution of Council and Finance Committee meetings and sub-committee meetings of these bodies. There are normally two Council and Finance Committee meetings per year – one in summer and one in winter. The meetings take place at the EMBL headquarters in Heidelberg or at one of the EMBL sites.

The Secretariat maintains the Staff Rules and Regulations, the Financial Regulations and Internal Financial Rules, the Rules of Procedure of Council, the Rules Establishing the Scientific Advisory Committee and other official Council documents. These documents can only be revised following decision by Council.

It is also responsible for the Council and Finance Committee archives, as well as the archive of agreements relating to the establishment of EMBL, its sites and social security issues.


image of Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson

Assistant to the Director General / Head of Council Secretariat

Council Secretariat



Email: council@embl.org

Fax: +49 6221 387-8211