The main actors of the decision making process in the EU

The legal acts developed within the European Union are mainly influenced by three institutions:

1.- The European Commission is the one who normally initiates the legislative process by producing a draft for a new law and proposing it to the other two main actors: The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The Commission is lead by 27 Commissioners, one per member state, that change every term. Its President is currently Mr José Manuel Durão Barroso.

2.- The European Parliament is composed by 754 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) democratically elected every five years. Together with the Council of the European Union, is the institution in charge of 'law making', which means receiving the drafts proposed by the Commission and modify them to obtain as outcome a final law to be implemented in the 27 member states. To attain this objective, MEPs work in Committees, where they can focus on the topics they are more interested or specialised. At the present, the President of the European Parliament is Mr Martin Schulz.

3.- The Council of the European Union is conformed by the ministers of each member state and is the other 'law making' institution of the European Union. Its presidency switches from one member state to another every six months. During the first semester of 2013 the country who holds it is Ireland.


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