The administration of the European Union is governed by 4 main bodies with decision-making powers, which together determine the political direction of the Union.
In the process of creating legal regulations, they play different roles:

European Parliament

European Council

Council of the European Union

European Commission

European Parliament elections

Elections to the European Parliament (EP) are elections held every 5 years in which the citizens of an EU state elect their members of parliament who will represent the interests of their constituents at the level of the EP.
Altogether, citizens elect over 700 members of parliament.

Each country has a predetermined number of members of parliament, which is based on the so-called principle of degressive proportionality, which means that each member of the European Parliament from a larger country represents more people than a member from a smaller country. The number of elected deputies for individual countries is determined before the elections themselves.

How to vote?

Although each state has its own rules and election process, there are also rules common to all:

Elections are held over four days, from Thursday to Sunday
EU citizens residing in another EU country can vote and run for office in that country (with certain exceptions!)
Each EU citizen can vote only once

Find out more on your how to vote page!

Evropský parlament

The main task of the parliament is to represent the citizens of the EU countries, their voters. The parliament consists of more than 700 members of parliament who are elected for five-year terms. The first elections took place in 1979 and the next ones will take place this year in 2024.

Together with the European Council, the European parliament decides on legislation. Parliament gained this authority by signing the Maastricht Treaty. In addition to legislative authority, the parliament also has control and budgetary authority.

European parliament buildings are located in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg. Each has a unique function and is intended for different types of meetings or work functions.

The current President of the European Parliament is Roberta Metsola.

European Commission

The European Commission is the executive arm of the EU based in Brussels.

Its current president is Ursula von der Leyen.

The commission consists of 27 commissioners who are nominated by the governments of individual countries and approved by the EP. These commissioners do not represent the interests of their countries as members of the EP, but represent the interests of the European Union as an institution. The performance of their function is limited to 5 years.

The main function of the European Commission is to draft laws, which are then approved by the EP with the Council of the EU. Among its other functions are the drafting of legal regulations, the control of the application and implementation of the rights of the Union of Member States and others.

European Council – Consilium

The European Council is one of the seven EU institutions consisting of 27 members, the President of the Council of Europe and the President of the EC. Its members are heads of state or representatives of EU countries.

The main tasks of the European Council are determining the political direction of the EU, solving important issues and concrete measures.

However, the European Council does not adopt EU legislation and does not even discuss them, the EU Council is in charge of that.

It is important not to confuse the European Council with the Council of the European Union and the Council of Europe. They are 3 different institutions.

The Council of the European Union

This institution was established in 1958. The Council of the EU is one of the main bodies of the EU which, together with the European Parliament, adopts and negotiates the Union’s legal regulations.

Members are the ministers of individual EU countries according to their political areas.

Individual EU states take turns in the presidency of the Council. The presidency of one state lasts for 6 months. Each state sets individual goals or thematic activities that it will focus on during its presidency.

Belgium currently chairs the council until July 30, 2024.