How the European Union works

The European Union has its own legislature and executive, as well as an independent judiciary and a central bank. These are supported and complemented by a set of institutions and bodies, the powers conferred on which derive from the founding Treaties. The Union’s powers have evolved considerably over the years through the successive Treaties, as have its decision-making procedures, which Parliament and the Council now follow when legislating on most EU policies. The Union also has its own budget with which to achieve its objectives. The Lisbon Treaty gave Parliament an equal say with the Council to decide on the entire EU budget and the multiannual financial framework.