How does the EU work?

The European Union has a type of government. It also has its own parliament. Within the European Union Commission and parliament work together with the representatives of the member states.


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Flaggen der Europäischen Union vor dem Gebäude der Europäischen Kommission in Brüssel, Belgien (14.5.2012)
The A majority of European-Union employees work in Brussels, Belgium. The picture shows flags in front of the building of the European Commission. (picture alliance / dpa / CTK Photo / Vit Simanek)
The European Union has a type of government. It’s called the European Commission. Every one of the 28 EU countries sends a representative to the Commission. A big administration works for the Commission. The Commission and the administration work in the city of Brussels in Belgium.
The European Union has its own parliament. The European Parliament monitors the Commission. The European Parliament takes part in deciding laws for the EU. The Parliament is elected by people from all the EU states. Big states get more representatives. Small states get fewer representatives. The Parliament works in Brussels and in Strasbourg. Strasbourg is a city in France.
Representatives of the 28 states work with the Parliament to make laws. When the representatives of the states work together, it is called a council. When the leaders of the governments come together, it is called the European Council. Different ministers also come to the sittings of the Council. For example the Interior Ministers. Another example is the Foreign Ministers. The Council works in Brussels.
The EU also has a Supreme Court. It is called the European Court of Justice. The European Court of Justice is the most important court for deciding EU rules. It has more authority than the courts of individual countries. The European Court of Justice is based in Luxembourg.

Translation: Cai Nebe.