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Among the cases presented above, referring to the President of the European Council as the President of the European Union is by far the most common modern error in the international media (e.g., even here). This usage is misleading because the post presides over the European Council—an institution of the EU—rather than presiding over the EU as a whole.

Prior to the Treaty of Lisbon, each member state (in turn) took the responsibilities of both the Presidency of the European Council and the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The press frequently summarised these responsibilities to the shorthand tag "EU President", both for the country holding it or its political leader. Nevertheless, this too was a misnomer.

The Commissionmarker Presidency has had fewer mentions using this term, despite being the most powerful of the three.

There are other EU institution Presidents, but they do not hold the profile to have had the title applied to them.

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