How has the research on the European Council and the Council of the EU engaged with Moravcsik's theory on liberal intergovernmentalism (LI)? This article analyzes 25 years of Council research. Most of this literature does not refer to LI, and a majority of the references that are made raise critique against LI. However, compared to other major works on European integration, LI is by far the most important source in the Council literature. Furthermore, a closer look at the most significant challenges raised against LI indicates that its account of intergovernmental bargaining in the EU is not in serious question. On the other hand, few studies provide systematic tests of the key assumptions of LI with regards to interstate bargaining. As a result, the self‐proclaimed status of LI as a baseline theory is confirmed in the Council literature more by implicit, somewhat reluctant, consent than by overt support.