Institutions of the EU

Central to the success of the European Union is the fact that it is founded on a set of institutions.  You can follow the links below to our documents on each of the following subjects.

European Commission

This is effectively the government of the European Union, led by 27 Commissioners (senior political figures, one from each member state) and staffed by around 23,000 people (fewer than a typical county council).  For more information, click here

For more information about the president of the European Commission, click here.

European Parliament

This is the only directly-elected international parliament in the world.  Now that the Lisbon treaty is in force, the EP has the power of co-decision over almost all EU legislation, as well as the right to elect the president of the European Commission.  For more information, click here.

For information about the elections to the European Parliament, click here.

Council of Ministers

Representing the national governments, the Council is partly the second chamber of the legislature (sharing legislative decision-making with the European Parliament), and partly an executive body (many of the actions agreed at EU level are in fact implemented by the member states).  For more information, click here.

For more information about the president of the European Council, click here.

Charter of Fundamental Rights

For more information click here.

National parliaments

A key role in scrutinising the actions of the national governments within the Council of Ministers falls to the national parlianents of the member states.  For more information, click here.