European Legislative Process and Institutions.

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European Legislative Process and Institutions


Council of Ministers:

The Council of Ministers is made up of representatives from each state that acts in the interests of that state rather than to Europe as a whole. It is the main legislative body and it acts on proposals from the Commission to produce a law. The Council of Ministers will consult with parliament on a proposed piece of legislation and a vote will commence thereafter.

The voting system is very complex and voting depends upon the subject matter. Important matters require a strong feeling of agreement amongst Ministers. Others are decided by majority confirmation or most commonly qualified majority.

A Committee of Permanent Representatives assists the Council, which considers proposals and discusses details.

The Commission:

The Commission is considered the main power of European legislation. It must act in the interest of the EU, not for individual member states. The function of the Commission is to initiate legislation and is ‘guardian of the treaties’ (in other words observes how member states meet their obligations and can take action if states fail to comply). This happens in the ECJ. Furthermore, the Commission formulates policy for the Council of Ministers to consider and supervises the application of those policies once they are law.

European Parliament:

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This parliament is elected every five years and there are currently 626 MEPs.

The European parliament advises on proposals for laws put forward by the Commission, gives opinion on laws to be adopted by the Council of Ministers and supervises the work of the Commission.

In conclusion, the Commission proposes legislation, the Council makes the law having consulted Parliament and amendments proposed by Parliament. It is a complex procedure but essentially the Council has the final say on legislation. Thus the Council is the main legislative body, not Parliament.


The European Parliament represents, in ...

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