How the European Union works

The European Union’s institutions and bodies, and the powers conferred on them, derive from the founding Treaties. The Treaty on European Union refers to seven EU institutions in the strict sense of the term: four of these are responsible for drafting policies and taking decisions, namely the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Parliament. The Court of Justice ensures that Community law is observed, the European Central Bank’s main task is to maintain price stability in the euro area, and the Court of Auditors examines the legality and regularity of Union revenue and expenditure. The Union’s powers have evolved considerably over the years through the successive Treaties, as have its decision-making procedures.