Politics of the European Union

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Life in the European Union
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European Union
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This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the European Union

Three pillars
Pillar I: European Community
Pillar II: Common Foreign and Security Policy
Pillar III: Police and Judicial Cooperation

Political institutions
President  (José Barroso)
Barroso Commission
Council of Ministers and European Council
Presidency  (Finland)
President  (Josep Borrell)
2004 / by country
Party groups

Court of Justice
List of members
Court of First Instance
Civil Service Tribunal

Finance auditing
European Court of Auditors

Financial bodies
European Central Bank
European Investment Bank
European Investment Fund

Advisory bodies
Economic and Social Committee
Committee of the Regions

Decentralised bodies
Agencies of the EU

Acquis communautaire
Regulations · Directives · Decisions
Recommendations · Opinions

EU-related topics
Economic and monetary union
Foreign relations
Pan-European political parties
Table of affiliated parties by country
Party affiliations on the Council

Other countries • Politics Portal
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The European Union or EU is a supranational and international organization of 25 member states.

The union has evolved over time from a primarily economic union to an increasingly political one. This trend is highlighted by the increasing number of policy areas that fall within EU competence - over time political power has tended to shift upwards from the member states to the EU. This trend is controversial.

See the article European Union for more detail on the policies and activities of the EU.

Image:Wikimedia-logo.svgWikimedia Atlas of the European Union Image:Gnome-globe.svg.


[edit] Elections

The three main institutions of the European Union are the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, and the European Commission. Of these only the European Parliament is directly elected. This has happened since 1979, with elections taking place every five years. The last one was in 2004 and the next due in 2009.

The European Parliament is sometimes criticised as little more than an advisory and rubber-stamping body, but its power to reject or amend legislation has been greatly increased in recent years.

The Council of the European Union consists of representatives of member state governments, who are in most cases elected within individual member states. The European Commission is led by appointees, who are proposed by member state governments, and the Commission as a whole must then be accepted by the European Parliament.

[edit] Political parties

Transnational political groupings exist, and include the majority of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). However, at present these are essentially confederations of national political parties, rather than parties in their own right. MEPs in most countries stand for election on the banner of a national political party, not the transnational grouping to which it belongs.

[edit] Institutions

[edit] See also

de:Politische Grundlagen der Europäischen Union

ro:Sistemul politic al Uniunii Europene

Politics of the European Union

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