Seven institutions govern the European Union. These are the Courts of Auditors, the European Parliament, the European Central Bank, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, Council of the European Union, and the European Commission. These institutions were mainly created in the 1950s and have undergone tremendous changes over the years in an effort to transfer powers from the commission to parliament.
The European Parliament
This institution has regulated the budgetary and legislative functions of the European Union, which it shares with the Council of the European Union. It has 736 members, who are elected after a period of five years. Since this institution is very democratic in nature, it is amongst the most powerful legislatures worldwide. Given that it has powers over the commission, this makes it the most powerful institution of the European Union when it comes to directing the EU policy.
The European Council
This comprises presidents of the nations that make up the European Union. It usually meets four times per year to interpret the policy agenda of the Union, where it usually emphasizes integration. The European Council’s president is in charge of heading and driving the institution’s work, which is the highest political organ of the European Union.
This is informally referred to as the Council of Ministers. It holds minimal executive powers and considerable legislative powers. It is the union’s major decision-making organ. Its presidency is shared amongst member states that elect a new president after every six months. However, three presidencies usually cooperate on one agenda.
The commission makes up the executive organ of the Union. It is made up of one appointed member from each state. The organ is autonomous of member states’ national interests. It is in charge of drafting all European Union’s laws. It also monopolizes the process of proposing these laws. Since it deals with the daily activities of the union, it upholds the commission’s laws and treaties. A president, who is usually the council’s nominee but subject to approval by the European Parliament heads this Commission. The commission’s 27 commissioners are nominees of their member states but in consultation with the Commission President.
The European Union Court of Justice
The European Union Court of Justice is the Union’s judicial branch. It has the mandate of interpreting EU laws and treaties. It is made up of the main chamber that consists of the Civil Service Tribunal, Court of Justice, and the General Court.
The European Union Central Bank
The European Union Central Bank is the Euro zone’s central bank. This means that it deals with nations that have adopted the euro as their currency. It essentially manages the monitory policy in the European zone with the intention of sustaining the stability of prices. A board made up of national bank governors of member states and a president heads the bank. It is, thus, situated at the heart of the systems of central banks in the Eurozone.
The Court of Auditors
The European Union Court of Auditors has no judicial authority in spite of its name. Its mandate is to ensure that budgeted taxpayer funds from the European Union are used appropriately. To monitor and safeguard proper spending, it provides the European Parliament and Council audited financial reports annually.
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