How does the EU works?
The EU is the union of 28 European Countries collaborating among themselves not only in terms of trade but also in many other fields like: human Rights, mobility, energy, environment, etc.
What initially was an economic union has become a political union in which many topics concerning citizens’ daily life are discussed and legislated. The Union in Europe has allowed to keep peace among countries and to increase the relations among the citizens not only based on trade but also in the cultural exchange and in the understanding of differences and the fostering of synergies.
During this time, the EU has achieved remarkable success especially in the so called fundamental freedoms: free movement of persons, goods, services and capital, that nowadays allow their citizens to move without borders, open a business without barriers in another country and trade their products without custom duties. But the EU also acts on things which are maybe less visible but equally effective; think about the passengers rights, the limitation (and future elimination) of the roaming costs, educational programs such as Erasmus, the multilingualism strategy and many others.
But EU is composed of many organizations, to have an idea of the complexity you can have a look to the following graph.
The EU Institutions, Who Does What?
Understanding the EU framework might be a little complicated. As we don´t want to confuse you, we will keep it simply and give you the basis. Here you have the main EU institutions in a glance.
As you can see on the picture, the main procedure where the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers interact was the so-called “co decision process” that now has been renamed as ordinary legislative procedure. It is quite a long and complicated process where the Parliament and the Council have to agree in the bases of what has been proposed by the Commission.
Going More Into Details, What Is The Golden Triangle?
There are three main institutions in the EU known as the Golden Triangle of the EU: The Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament.
How Can I Contact The European Union?
“European Union is far away” I bet you have heard (or even said) this sentence sometime. However, there are a lot of possibilities how you can contact with the European Union and solve your questions. Here you have a list of some of the possibilities:
Eurodesk defines itself as “the main provider of information on European policies and opportunities for young people and those who work with them”. In their webpage you will find lots of information about Youth policies and actions and as well information material and sources. For more information you can check http://www.eurodesk.org/
Europe Direct is the direct line with the EU citizens, it is present in every European Union Member State (check the closer to you here) and can answer your questions by phone, mail or in person.
European Parliament Info Office
European Parliament Info Office can offer you a complete information about all the issues related with the European Parliament. There are offices in every member state (check it here) and they can provide also materials, contacts and links if you are interesting in developing European projects.
European Commission representations
European Commission representations: The European Commission is also present in every EU country through the EC representations. In there you can assist to events related with EU and collect information materials and solve your doubts. To check where is the closer to you go to http://ec.europa.eu/represent_en.htm