The Informal Meetings of EU Foreign Ministers held every six months, also known as the Gymnich meetings, look back on a long tradition. The first meeting of this kind took place at Schloss Gymnich in Erftstadt in Land North Rhine-Westphalia in 1974, which explains the origins of the name used across Europe until this day. At the time, the Gymnich meeting was held within the framework of the European Political Cooperation. Today, it is a fixture among the informal meetings during Presidencies of the Council of the European Union. The Foreign Ministers of the EU member states have an opportunity here to engage in an informal dialogue in a spirit of trust on current issues in the area of European foreign policy.
The Gymnich meeting traditionally takes place back-to-back with the Informal Meeting of Defence Ministers.