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EU institutions, which ones are they? And what do they do?

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Today we are going to discuss the EU institutions, which ones are they and what they do.

As mentioned in the first article, the EU is an “intergovernmental organisation”. It means that the actions taken by the EU are founded on treaties that have been approved voluntarily and democratically by all the EU Member States. In order to work smoothly and efficiently, the organisation is provided with seven institutions which hold different functions.

EU seven institutions:

  1. The European Commission, this institution represents the interests of the UE as whole. Indeed, it is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU.
  2. The European Union Parliament, is the body in charge of representing the EU’s citizens and, because of this, it is directly elected by them.
  3. The Council of the European Union, it represents the governments of each individual member state. This institution proposes new laws, and the Parliament and Council adopt them. After this stage, The Commission and the member states then implement them, and the Commission ensures that the laws are properly applied and implemented.
  4. The European Council, it is a collegiate body that brings together EU leaders to set the EU’s political agenda. It represents the highest level of political cooperation between EU countries.
  5. The Court of Justice of the European Union interprets EU law to make sure it is applied in the same manner in all EU member states.
  6. The European Central Bank (ECB) manages the Euro and frames and implements EU economic & monetary policy. The main aim is to keep prices stable, thereby supporting economic growth and job creation.
  7. The European Courts of auditors in charge of checking if the EU funds are collected and used correctly, then it helps improve the EU financial management.

The European Union is a unique institutional set-up, this due to its nature and complexity of functioning.

Let’s widen this concept: the EU’s core priorities are established by the European Council, which brings together national and EU-level leaders. The European members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) represent the EU citizens, which directly elect them every five years, whereas, the interests of the EU as a whole “community” are promoted by the Commission.

On the other hand, governments defend their own national interests by the Council of the European Union.

The fascinating power of this organisation (EU) is embedded into its administrative structure.

Indeed, the main institutions are the central section of the “body” but the whole system can work because of the “agencies“. Distinct from the EU institutions, the agencies of the European Union are specialist bodies that contribute to implement the EU policies, and set up to advise both Institutions and Member States in areas that affect everyone living in the Union.

They are located across the member states, providing services, information, and know-how. Furthermore, they carry out a cooperational support between the EU and national governments.

The following articles are supposed to give more details and step by step helping to see the picture of the EU complexity.


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Info Astrid Amodeo

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European citizen and Consular Agent. She has a diplomatic background and a degree in EU law. She began traveling abroad to study at the age of 14, knows seven foreign languages including Arabic and Russian, and is fluent in four of them. Committed to the EU and politics, Astrid writes for Liguria.Today and in each monthly appointment discusses a changing Europe, vast and complex but not difficult to be understood.

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