The Structure of the European Union

Topics: European Union, Institutions of the European Union, European Parliament Pages: 4 (961 words) Published: March 18, 2011
The Structure of the European Union

European Union policies are divided into three main areas, called pillars.

I. the European Community-at the heart of the EC is the single market with its four basic freedom ( free movement of goods, free movement of workers, freedom to provide services and free movement of capital and payment) and its rules on competition. Policy areas for which the Community is responsible is: international trade, development assistance, monetary policy, agriculture, environment, regional development, energy, culture etc;

II. the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) -pillar concerns foreign policy and military matters with the following declared aims:

? safeguarding the commonly held values, fundamental interests and independent of the EU; ? strengthening the security of the EU and its Member States; ? to preserve peace and strengthen international security, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter, as well as the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the objectives of the Paris Charter, including those on external borders; ? promoting international cooperation;

? promoting democracy and the rule of law, and safeguarding human rights and basic freedoms. III. Justice and Home Affairs, covering cooperation within the Union in areas such as civil and criminal law, immigration and asylum policy, border control, drug trafficking, police cooperation and exchange of information.

The Institutional Framework

The three pillars possess a common institutional structure. The European Union institutions are as follows: • European Parliament
• European Commission
• European Court of Justice (incorporating the Court of First Instance) • Council of the European Union
• European Court of Auditors
• European Data Protection Supervisor
• European Ombudsman
There are also two advisory committees to the above institutions, which advise them...
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