The insitution of the European Union

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  • European Law
    • The council of the European Union
      • Government of each nation in the union sends a representive to the council
      • The council is the principal decision making body of the union
      • Voting in the council us on a weighted basis- with each country having a number or votes roughly in proportion to the size of its population
    • The commission
      • 28 commissioners- supposed to act independently of their national origin
      • Each member state has one commissioner
      • Commissioners are appointed for a five year term and can only be removed during this term in office by a vote of censure by the European Parliament
      • Each commissioner heads a department with special responsibilities for one are of Union policy
      • it is the motive power behind the Union policy as it proposes policies and presents drafts of legislation to the council for the Council's consideration
      • It is also the Guardian of the treaties
      • Responsible for the administration of the union and has executive powers to implement the Union's budget
    • European Parliament
      • Has no direct law making authority
      • main function is to discuss proposals put forward by the Commission
      • Members of the European Parliament are directly elected by the people of the Member States in elections which take place every five years
      • Members don't operate in national groups, they form political groups with those of the same political allegiance
      • Main criticism is that the Parliament has no real power, However the assent of Parliament is required to any international agreements the Union wishes to enter into.
    • Court of Justice of the European Union
      • Functions set out under Article 19 of the Treaty of the European Union (TEU)
      • Sits in Luxemburg and has 28 judges one from every member state
      • Full court= 11 sitting judges, 5 judges in the chamber or 3 judges
      • Each judge is appointed for 6 year term, can be reappointed for a further term of 6 years
      • Court is assisted by 9 Advocate General whose task is to research all the legal points involved and ' to present publically, with complete impartiality and independence, reasoned conclusions on cases submitted to the Court of Justice with a view to assisting the latter in the performance of its duties


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