January 29, 2019

How it works

The EU was not always as big as it is today. When European countries started to cooperate economically in 1951, only Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands participated. Over time, more and more countries joined until it reached its current size of 28 EU countries.

Listed below are the principal decision making institutions of the European Union(EU). They are, as listed in Article 13 of the Treaty on European Union:

  • European Parliament,

The European Parliament (EP) is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union (EU). Together with the Council of the European Union (the Council) and the European Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU.

  • Council of the European Union,

The Council of the European Union, referred to in the treaties and other official documents simply as the Council is the third of the seven Institutions of the European Union (EU) as listed in the Treaty on European Union. It is part of the essentially bicameral EU legislature (the other legislative body being the European Parliament) and represents the executive governments of the EU’s member states.

  • European Commission,

The European Commission (EC) is an institution of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. The Commission operates as a cabinet government, with 28 members of the Commission (informally known as “commissioners”). There is one member per member state, but members are bound by their oath of office to represent the general interest of the EU as a whole, rather than their home state.

Who is the Commission President

From one of the 28 member states, is the Commission President (currently Jean-Claude Juncker) proposed by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament. The Council of the European Union then nominates the other 27 members of the Commission in agreement with the nominated President, and the 28 members as a single body are then subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament. The current Commission is the Juncker Commission, which took office in late 2014, following the European Parliament elections in May of the same year.