You are on page 1of 5

Institutions of the European Union

European Parliament
(similar to lower house)

Council of the European Union
Legislative (similar to upper house)

negotiates international treaties

acts together with the Council as a legislature

the main decision making body of the

based in Brussels

shares with the Council the budgetary power
and decides in the last instance on the general
budget of the EU

exerts the democratic control over EU
Commission and appoints the Commission
based and plenary sessions in Strasbourg,
primarily meets in Brussels
European Council- Sets impetus and direction

summit of the Heads of Government, chaired
by the President of the European Council)

gives the necessary impetus for the
development and sets out general objectives
and priorities

will not legislate

based in Brussels

acts together with the Parliament as a

exerts together with the Parliament the
budgetary power

ensures coordination of the broad economic
and social policy and sets out guidelines for
the Common Foreign and Security Policy

conclude international agreements

based in Brussels
European Commission - Executive –
is the "government"

Court of Justice of the EU - Judiciary

submits proposals for new legislation to the
Parliament and to the Council
implements EU policy and administers the
ensures compliance with EU law




 has the power to decide legal disputes between
EU member states, EU institutions, businesses
and individuals
 based in Luxembourg
European Court of Auditors
- Financial auditor –

examines the proper use of revenue and
expenditure of the EU institutions (see also
Budget of the European Union)

based in Luxembourg

Guardian of the Treaties

ensure uniformity
European law

European Central Bank
- Monetary executive (central bank) –

forms together with the national central banks
the European System of Central Banks and

thereby determining the monetary policy of the EU  ensures price stability in the eurozone by controlling the money supply  based in Frankfurt .

Its 736 members are elected every five years by universal suffrage and sit according to political allegiance. but is composed of national leaders. which is a similar body. It does. the Council will be composed of each national minister for agriculture. however. However the Council meets in various forms depending upon the topic. They represent their governments and are accountable to their national political systems. which has been described as the highest political body of the European Union. It meets four times a year to define the Union's policy agenda and give impetus to integration. European Council The European Council provides political direction at head of state or government level to the Union The European Council is the group of heads of state or government of the EU member states. The President of the European Council is the person responsible for chairing and driving forward the work of the institution.[14][15][16] The Parliament's President (its speaker) is Martin Schulz (S&D/PES). but every three Presidencies now cooperate on a common programme. Its Presidency rotates between the states every six months. Council The Council of the European Union (informally known as the Council of Ministers or just the Council) is a body holding legislative and some limited executive powers and is thus the main decision making body of the Union. It has been said that its democratic nature and growing powers have made it one of the most powerful legislatures in the world. They represent nearly 500 million citizens (the world's second largest democratic electorate) and form the only directly elected body in the Union. For example. In these various forms they share the legislative and budgetary power of the Parliament.[18] . it has weaker powers than the Council in some sensitive areas. who was elected from the Parliament's members in 2012. The current president is Herman Van Rompuy. if agriculture is being discussed.European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) shares the legislative and budgetary authority of the Union with the Council of the European Union (not to be confused with the European Council). This body is separate from the European Council. have powers over the Commission which the Council does not. and does not have legislative initiative. Votes are taken either by majority or unanimity with votes allocated according to population. Despite forming one of the two legislative chambers of the Union.[18] The Council is composed of twenty-eight national ministers (one per state). and also lead the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive arm of the Union. the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal. The Council then adopts this list of nominee-Commissioners.The presidency is held by Lithuania until 31 December 2013. It comprises the main chamber: Court of Justice. [20] The current President is José Manuel Barroso (EPP).[19] It also deals with the day-to-day running of the Union and has the duty of upholding the law and treaties (in this role it is known as the "Guardian of the Treaties").[21] Court of Justice of the European Union The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is the EU's judicial branch. The interviews of individual nominees are conducted separately. Once approval has been obtained from the Parliament the Commissioners can take office. but is designed to be independent of national interests. in contrast to Parliament’s vote of approval which must be cast on the Commission as a whole without the ability to accept or reject individual Commissioners. The CJEU is located in Luxembourg. It is a body composed of one appointee from each state. The body is responsible for drafting all law of the European Union and has a near monopoly on proposing new laws (bills). European Central Bank The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank for the eurozone (the states which have adopted the euro) and thus controls monetary policy in that area with an agenda to maintain price stability.[11][22] . The Council’s adoption of the Commission is not an area which requires the decision to be unanimous. currently twenty-eight. The remaining 27 Commissioners are nominated by member-states. It is responsible for interpreting EU law and treaties. their acceptance is arrived at according to the rules for qualified majority voting. in consultation with the President. The European Parliament then interviews and casts its vote upon the Commissioners. It is at the centre of the European System of Central Banks which comprises all EU national banks. and have their portfolios assigned by the President.[13] The Commission is led by a President who is nominated by the Council (in practice the European Council) and approved by Parliament. The bank is governed by a board of national bank governors and a President. his commission was elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2010.

has no judicial powers. The Court also gives opinions and proposals on financial legislation and anti-fraud actions.[23] The Court of Auditors was set up in 1975. despite its name. Every three years one of them is elected to be the president of the court.[23][dated info] . OLAF. The court provides an audit report for each financial year to the Council and Parliament. who is currently Vítor Manuel da Silva Caldeira. It was created as an independent institution due to the sensitivity of the issue of fraud in the Union (the anti-fraud agency. The current president is Mario Draghi. is also built on its independence). The Parliament uses this to decide whether to approve the Commission's handling of the budget. It ensures that taxpayer funds from the budget of the European Union have been correctly spent. Court of Auditors The European Court of Auditors. It is composed of one member from each state appointed by the Council every six years.The ECB is located in Frankfurt.