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European Union Institutions by Mind Map: European Union Institutions
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European Union Institutions

European Union Institutions are Supranational, meaning that these are "Beyond the authority or jurisdiction of one national government". http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Supranationality

The European Parliament

The European Parliament is the elected body that represents the EU citizens. It supervises the EU's activities, and together with the council, enacts the EU legislation. Members of the EP are directly elected, by universal suffrage, every five years. The Parliament holds its major debates at monthly gatherings- plenary sessions. The Parliament takes part in the legislative work of the EU in two ways:   "Assent" procedure- EP must give its assent to international agreements negotiated by the commission and to any proposed enlargement of the EU. "Co-decision" procedure- shares legislative power with The Council of European Union in all policy areas that require a "qualifies majority" vote in the Council (about 95% of all EU legislation). If they cannot agree after two readings, the proposal is brought before a conciliation committee. The European Parliament exercises democratic supervision over the Union, in particular over the European Commission. Every five years the EP can approve or reject the European Council's nominee for the post of Commission President. At any time, Parliament can dismiss the whole Commission by adopting a motion of ensure- this requires a two thirds majority. The Parliament also supervises the daily management of EU policies by puting oral and written questions to the Commission and the Council. Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.    

Adopting the EU Budget

The Council

  The Council (The Council of Ministers) is made up of ministers from the EU's national governments. The member states take it in turns to hold the Council Presidency for a six-month period. Every Council meeting is attended by one minister from each EU country. Which ministers attend a meeting depends on which topic is on the agenda. The Council's main job is to pass laws. Normally it shares this responsibility with the European Parliament. The council and the European Parliament also share equal responsibility for adopting the EU budget. In addition, the Council signs international agreements that have been negotiated by the commission. According to the Lisbon Treaty, the Council has to take its decisions either by a simple majority vote, a qualified majority vote or unanimously, depending on the subject to be decided. The Council has to agree unanimously on important questions such as taxation, amending the treaties, launching a new common policy or allowing a new country to join the Union. In most cases quality majority voting is used. This means that a Council decision is adopted if a specified minimum number of votes are cast in its favor. The number of votes allocated to each EU country roughly reflects the size of its population. From 1 November 2014, according to the Lisbon Treaty, the system will be simplified. A decision will be adopted if 55% of the member states are in favor of it and if they represented at least 65% of the EU's population. Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Fontaine, P. (2010). Europe in 12 Lessons. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.  

The European Council

  EU's top political institution. It consists of the Heads of the State or Government- the presidents and/or Prime Ministers- of all the member countries, plus the President of the European Commission. It normally meets four times a year, in Brussels. It has a permanent president, whose job is to coordinate the European Council's work and ensure its continuity. The permanent president is elected (by a qualified majority vote of its members) for a period of two and a half years and can be re-elected once. The European Council fixes the EU's goals and sets the course for achieving them. It provides the impetus for the EU's main policy initiatives and takes decisions on problematic issues that the Council of Ministers has not been able to agree on. The European Council also tackles current International problems via the “common foreign and security policy”- which is a mechanism for coordinating the foreign policies of the EU's member states.   Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

The European Commission

The Commission is a key EU institution. It alone has the right to draw up proposals for new EU legislation, which it sends to the Council and Parliament for discussion and adoption. Its members are appointed for a five-year term by agreement between the member states, subject to approval by the European Parliament. The commission is answerable to the Parliament. There is one Commission member from each EU country. The Commission enjoys a substantial degree of independence in exercising its powers. its job is to uphels the common interest, meaning, that it must not take instructions from any national government. "Guardian of the Treaties"- has to ensure, that the regulations and directives adopted by the Council and Parliament are being implemented in the member states. Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

The Court of Justice

Made up from one judge from each EU country, assisted by eight advocates general. They are appointed by joint agreement of the governments of the member states for a renewable term of six years. Their independence is guaranteed. The Court's role is to ensure that EU law is complied with, and that the Treaties are correctly implemented. Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

The European Central Bank

Responsible for managing the euro and the EU's monetary policy. Main task is to maintain price stability in the euro area. Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

The court of Auditors

Has one member from each EU country, appointed for a term of six years by agreement between the member states following consultation of the European Parliament. It checks that all the EU's revenue has been received and all its expenditure incurred in a lawful and regular manner and that the EU budget has been managed well. Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Borchardt, K. D. (2010). The ABC of European Union Law. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Other Bodies

The European Economic and Social Committee

The Committee of the regions

The european Investment Bank