Institutions of the European Union
in Understanding British and European political issues

The institutions of the European Union (EU) have tended to grow and expand without any coherent plan. One of the errors which is often made in studying the institutions of the EU is to attempt a comparison with national political systems. This chapter provides an introductory information concerning the study of institutions. It also provides an analysis of the concepts used to assess the nature and operation of the institutions. The chapter focuses on the descriptions of the role, composition and operation of the main institutions: the Commission, Parliament, Council of Ministers and Court of Justice. It describes some of the problems and issues concerning the institutions. The chapter also describes the role of other, less central institutions of the EU. The prospects for further reform are considered as one of the issues facing the EU in the new era of economic and monetary union.

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