How does the EU work?

The EU is a group of democratic European countries committed to working together for peace and prosperity. 

Member States have established joint institutions in which they delegate part of their sovereignty to ensure that decisions involving common interest are taken democratically at the European level.Thus, many problems of the modern world are better tackled at the regional level than at the national level.EU policies are determined by the decisions taken by the following three main institutions:

  • The Council of the European Union (represents the governments of the individual member countries);
  • The Parliament of the European Union (represents the EU’s citizens); and
  • The European Commission (a politically independent body that represents the interests of the Union as a whole).

 

This institutional triangle forms the laws and policies that apply throughout the EU.In principle, the Commission proposes new laws, and the Parliament and Council adopt them.The European Court of Justice upholds the rule of European law, and the European Court of Auditors checks the financing of the EU’s activities.Besides these core institutions, the following institutions perform critical duties:

  • The Economic and Social Committee represents civil society, workers, and employers;
  • The Committee of the Regions represents regional and local governments;
  • The European Central Bank is responsible for monetary policy of the EU.
  • The European Ombudsman investigates complaints of mismanagement about EU institutions and bodies.