How is the EU Governed?
With the turmoil caused by the Brexit, the previously undoubtable benefits the EU offers to all its members are put to question. Leaving such influential political and economic union must have been caused by grievous dissatisfaction regarding certain parts that all member states need to oblige to if they wish to remain a part of the EU. To understand where such and other similar events stem from, it is beneficial to have a good grasp on how the EU is built, what are some of the laws everyone needs to follow and what institutions supervise the proper functioning.
Goals and values
Understanding these two principal aspects of any organization is crucially important when it comes to comprehending and justifying the way its legal, political and economic structures are built. When it comes to the EU, promoting peace, security, justice and freedom are at the core. Established with the hopes of ending the horrors brought about by constant wars between neighbouring countries that resulted the Second World War, the EU was established with equality, democracy and human rights as the foundational values from which a just system would arise. Many years later, it is evident that the EU has, as much as it is possible, succeeded in ensuring peace among neighbours and prosperity on the continent.
Rule of law
Just like most countries in the union, the EU itself is governed based on the principles of representative democracy, meaning people from member states get to elect people to occupy certain positions at certain governing organs. What is more, the governance of the union is based entirely on legal agreements. Treaties, agreed upon by the EU countries in a voluntary and democratic way, provide foundation for upholding agreements, solving various questions and issues as well as making changes to the way certain processes are carried out.
There are many governing bodies responsible for the proper functioning of the EU. Among some of the most important are:
- The European Parliament. It is responsible for the law-making processes. People who occupy seats at the European Parliament are elected by the EU voters every five years. In short, it decides which new laws, international agreements and enlargements are put into place.
- The European Council. The leaders of the EU come together to decide upon the political agenda for the EU. Since due to the importance of these people and the matters considered there the European Council represents the highest level of political cooperation, the overall political direction and priorities are at stake there.
- The European Commission. It is an executive organ that is politically independent. It implements the Parliament’s and the Council’s decisions and drafts proposals for legislation of the EU.
- Court of Justice of the European Union. Makes sure that the laws of the EU are interpreted and implemented justly and appropriately, that member states and institutions abide the law.
- Among some organs of great significance are European Central Bank, European Investment Bank, European Economic and Social Committee and others.