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LGBT Issues

European Union institutions and how they work

On this page:

European Parliament
Council of the European Union
European Commission
Court of Justice

European Parliament

The European Parliament is the only EU institution which is directly elected by, and represents the political will of, people from all the EU member states. Like all parliaments, the European Parliament has three fundamental powers: legislative, budgetary and supervisory. Legislation in the EU is adopted in a process of co-decision. This procedure puts the European Parliament and the Council on an equal footing, and together they adopt legislation proposed by the Commission. Parliament has to give its final agreement.

Click here to visit the website of the European Parliament

Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union is the main decision-making institution of the EU. It is made up of representatives from the member states, who regularly come together at ministerial level. The Council meets in different compositions according to the matters on the agenda: foreign affairs, finance, education, telecommunications, etc. and in co-decision with the European Parliament, exercises legislative power. It coordinates the broad economic policies of the EU member states. It signs, on behalf of the EU, international agreements with one or more States or international organisations.

Click here to visit the website of the Council of the European Union

European Commission

The European Commission is the executive power of the EU. The President and Members of the Commission are appointed by the Member States after they have been approved by the European Parliament. It has the right to initiate draft legislation and therefore presents legislative proposals to Parliament and the Council. As the EU's executive body, it is responsible for implementing European legislation (directives, regulations, decisions), budget and programmes adopted by Parliament and the Council. It acts as guardian of the Treaties and, together with the Court of Justice, ensures that community law is properly applied.

Click here to visit the website of the European Commission

Court of Justice

The Court of Justice ensures that community law is uniformly interpreted and effectively applied. It has jurisdiction in disputes involving member states, EU institutions, businesses and individuals.

Click here to visit the website of the European Court of Justice

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