The European Parliament
The European Parliament (EP) is the only directly elected EU body. It represents the EU's 500 million inhabitants and plays a key role in electing the president of the European Commission. It shares power over the EU budget and legislation with the Council of the European Union.
The EP has a Liaison Office in every Member State. In Ireland the EP Liaison Office is located at Europe House, 12-14 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2.
The European Council
The European Council brings together EU leaders to set the EU's political agenda. It represents the highest level of political cooperation between EU countries. The Council takes the form of (usually quarterly) summit meetings between EU leaders, chaired by a permanent president.
The Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union is the institution representing the governments of the individual Member States. Also known informally as the EU Council, it is where national ministers from each EU country meet to adopt laws and coordinate policies. The presidency of the Council is shared by the Member States on a rotating basis.
The European Commission
The European Commission (EC) is the EU's executive body and is responsible for proposing and implement EU laws, monitoring the treaties and the day-to-day running of the EU.
The Court of Justice
The European Central Bank
The European Central Bank is the central bank for Europe's single currency, the euro. The ECB's main task is to maintain the euro's purchasing power and thus price stability int he euro area.
The European Court of Auditors
The European Court of Auditors audits EU finances. As an external auditor, it contributes to improving EU financial management and acts as the independent guardian of the financial interests of EU citizens.
External policy body
European External Action Service
The European External Action Service is the EU's diplomatic service. It assists the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to carry out the Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
The European Economic and Social Committee
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is an EU advisory body comprising representatives of workers' and employers' organisations and other interest groups. It issues opinions on EU issues to the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, thus acting as a bridge between the EU's decision-making institutions and EU citizens.
The Committee of the Regions
The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is an EU advisory body composed of locally and regionally elected representatives coming from all 28 Member States. Through the CoR they are able to share their opinion on EU legislation that directly impact regions and cities.