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THE EUROPEAN UNION

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Three key players

The European
Parliament

The Council of the


European Union

Voice of the people

Voice of the Member States

The European
Commission
Promoting the
common interest

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The EU Institutions
European Council
(Summit)

European Parliament

Council of the EU

European
Commission

Court of
Justice

Economic and Social


Committee

Committee of the
Regions

Agencies

European Central Bank

Court of
Auditors

European Investment
Bank

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History of the EU
The historical roots
of the European
Union lie in the
Second World War.
Idea of European
integration conceived
to prevent such killing
and destruction from
ever happening again
First proposed by the
French Foreign
Minister Robert
Schuman in a speech
on May 9, 1950. This
date, the "birthday" of
what is now the EU, is
celebrated annually as
Europe Day

Phases of growth
Initially, the European Economic
Community (EEC) consisted of
just six countries: Belgium,
Germany, France, Italy,
Luxembourg and the Netherlands
(1958)
European Communities (EC)
(1967)
Denmark, Ireland and the United
Kingdom joined in 1973
Greece in 1981
Spain and Portugal in 1986
European Union (EU) (after 1992)
(Maastricht Treaty)

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European Commission
27 Commissioners, each
responsible for specific policy
areas, representing the
common European perspective.
Proposes legislation and
enforces laws.
Negotiates trade agreements.
European Commission President
Jos Manuel Barroso

Manages Europes multilateral


development cooperation.

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Council of the European Union


EUs main decision-making body,
comprised of ministers of 27
Member States, representing
each Member States point of
view.
Decides on foreign policy issues.
Council presidency rotates
among Member States every six
months.

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European Parliament
Voice of European citizens.
Members elected for five-year
terms.
With the Council, passes EU
laws and adopts EU budgets.
Approves EU Commissioners.

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European Court of Justice


Highest EU judicial authority.
Ensures all EU laws are
interpreted and applied
correctly and uniformly.
Can act as an independent
policy maker but unlike the
U.S. Supreme Court, the ECJ
can only deal with matters
covered by the Treaties.

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How EU laws are made


Citizens, interest groups, experts: discuss, consult
Commission: makes formal proposal
Parliament and Council of Ministers: decide jointly
National or local authorities: implement
Commission and Court of Justice:
monitor implementation

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Council of the European Union
voice of the member states
One minister from each EU country
Presidency: rotates every six months
Decides EU laws and budget together
with Parliament
Manages the common foreign and
security policy

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Summit of the European Council
Summit of heads of state and government of all EU countries
Heldat least 4 times a year
Sets the overall guidelines for EU policies
President: Herman Van Rompuy

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The European Commission


promoting the common interest
Proposes new legislation
Manages and implements
EU policies and budget
Guardian of the treaties
27 independent members,
one from each EU country

Represents the EU on the


international stage

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The European Court of Justice


upholding the law

Rules on how to
interpret EU law
Ensures EU countries
apply EU laws in the
same way
27 independent judges,
one from each EU country

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The European Court of Auditors


getting value for your money

Checks that EU funds are


used properly
Can audit any person or

27 Independent members

organization dealing with


EU funds

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The European Central Bank


managing the euro

Ensures price stability


Controls money supply
and decides interest rates
Works independently
from governments

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Civil servants working for the EU


Commission employs
about 23,000
permanent civil
servants and 11,000
temporary or contract
workers

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Other EU institutions
about 10,000 employed

Permanent civil servants


Selected by open competitions
Come from all EU countries
Salaries decided by law
EU administration costs 15
per EU citizen per year

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THANK YOU