To ensure that the EU can properly fulfill all its tasks, it is structured
according to a certain system with many different institutions. We briefly
explain what these facilities do and what they mean.
The European Parliament
It took many years for the European Parliament to have as many rights as
today. There are currently 751 MPs from 28 nations. In the
European elections, they are directly elected by the citizens of the member
states and represent around 512 million citizens. The European elections take
place every five years. The next election will take place in May 2019.
Each country has an exact number of seats, from Germany there are currently
96 according to
Just like in Germany, there are members of parliament in the parliament who
belong to different parties. Parties with the same goals you have in fractions summarized. The
SPD is, for example, in the fraction of the European Socialist Party, the CDU in
the Christian-Democratic fraction.
An important area in the European Parliament are the so-called "standing
committees". There are 20 standing committees that deal with various
topics: one of them is the Committee on Culture and Education.
Between 25 and 78 members work on the committees. The parliamentary
committees meet once or twice a month in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The
members deal with a topic for many years. This makes them good experts and
enables them to work on new guidelines and regulations.
It consists of 28 members. They are called "commissioners". The
governments of the member states propose the commissioners. The European
Parliament must agree with the commissioners. You remain a member of the
commission for 5 years.
Although the commissioners are appointed by the member countries, they do not
act for their country. They should be independent and can only do tasks for
The Commission proposes the guidelines and regulations to be adopted by the
Council of the European Union. Only the Commission can do that. She also
determines when and how often she does this. The Commission is careful to ensure
that the new guidelines and regulations are properly applied in the member
Council of the European Union
The Council of the EU is voting on new guidelines and regulations so
that they can become valid. The Council is the main decision-making body of the
The Council of the European Union consists of ministers. The
ministers always come from the member countries. Depending on which directive is
currently to be adopted, there are other ministers in the commission.
If, for example, a directive for children and young people is to be adopted
today, the ministers for youth are there today. If a directive on car traffic is
adopted tomorrow, all transport ministers will come. This ensures that the
ministers who know best about the subject always vote on the directive.
The president changes every six months. The president is
always the head of government of a member state. When all countries have had
their turn, you just have to start all over again. From January to June 2007,
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was President of the EU Council.
Members are the heads of state and government of the member countries. From
Germany this is currently Angela Merkel. The European Council sets new goals and
tasks to be accomplished in the coming years. The members meet twice a year.
European Court of Justice
The European Court of Justice is the court for the EU. If
there is a dispute over the new EU directives and regulations, the judges must
settle the dispute. Everything that has been decided here applies to all people
in the EU. There is no other court that can change the decision of that court.
European Court of Auditors
Here it is calculated exactly how much money was spent by the EU. The Court
of Auditors also checks whether it was allowed to spend the money. However, he
may not impose penalties if too much money has been spent.