The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The EU operates through a system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmental negotiated decisions by the member states. Institutions of the EU include the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank, the Court of Auditors, and the European Parliament. The European Parliament is elected every five years by EU citizens. The EU’s de facto capital is Brussels

European Parliament

Acts together with the Council as a legislature. Shares with the Council the budgetary power and decides in the last instance on the general budget of the EU. Exerts the democratic control over EU institutions including the European Commission and appoints the Commission members. Based and plenary sessions in Strasbourg, General Secretariat in Luxembourg, primarily meets in Brussels. Today EP is constituted by 736 MEP’s from the 27 Member States.

European Commission

European Commission is the “government” of the EU. Submits proposals for new legislation to the Parliament and to the Council. Implements EU policy and administers the budget ensures compliance with EU law. Negotiates international treaties and is based in Brussels

The Council of the European Union

Acts together with the Parliament as a legislature. Exerts together with the Parliament the budgetary power. Ensures coordination of the broad economic and social policy and sets out guidelines for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Concludes international agreements and is based in Brussels

European Council

Summit of the Heads of Government, chaired by the President). Gives the necessary impetus for the development and sets out general objectives and priorities and is based in Brussels.

European Union Court of Justice

Ensure uniformity of interpretation of law has the power to decide legal disputes between EU member states, EU institutions, businesses and individuals. EUCJ is based in Luxembourg.

European Court of Auditors

Examines the proper use of revenue and expenditure of the EU institutions (see also Budget of the European Union). ECA is based in Luxembourg.

European Central Bank

Forms together with the national central banks the European System of Central Banks and thereby determining the monetary policy of the EU. Ensures price stability in the eurozone by controlling the money. ECB is based in Frankfurt.