The EU institutional framework includes:
- European Commission
- EU Council
- European Parliament
- European Council
- European Court of Justice
- European Court of Auditors
- European Central Bank
Of these, the first three have decision-making power of a legislative typeand act in a coordinated manner. Generally,, it is the task of the Commission to propose new legislation, while the Parliament and the Council are responsible for the adoption thereof. The Commission must also ascertain the correct implementation of the legislation on the part of the Member States.
In cases where the Council and Parliament cannot agree on the amendments, a solution is sought through the Conciliation Committee, otherwise known as the "formal trilogue meeting”. In this process the European Commission also intervenes as a mediator between the two bodies so that a solution can be reached more quickly. The "informal trilogue", on the other hand, can be carried out at any time during the ordinary legislative procedure. The agreements reached during the trilogues are then approved through the formal procedures of each of the three institutions.
For more information on trilogues, see document [link to .pdf] on the European Parliament website at page 21.
A fourth institution, the European Council, defines the general political guidelines of the Union and the prospects ofdevelopmentof the Union. The European Council must not be confused with the Council of the European Union nor with the Council of Europe, which is an international organization distinct from the European Union.
The Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Auditors have control functions: jurisdictional andaccounting, respectively. The EU system is then completed by the European Central Bank that plays a pivotal rolein the field of economic and monetary policy.
In addition to the institutions, the EU organizational framework consists of a series of bodies and entites with advisory, financial and control functions: Among these: the Committee of the Regions, the Economic and Social Committee, the European Investment Bank, and the European Agencies.