European union / EU institutions

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Decision-making at European Union level involves various European institutions, in particular

  • the European Commission,
  • the European Parliament (EP),
  • the Council of the European Union.

In general it is the European Commission that proposes new legislation, but it is the Council and Parliament that pass the laws. Other institutions and bodies also have roles to play.

The rules and procedures for EU decision-making are laid down in the treaties. Every proposal for a new European law is based on a specific treaty article, referred to as the ‘legal basis’ of the proposal. This determines which legislative procedure must be followed. The three main procedures are ‘consultation’, ‘assent’ and ‘co-decision’.

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