Step 1. What are the EU Institutions?

Read art. 13 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU)



Article 13

  1. The Union shall have an institutional framework which shall aim to promote its values, advance its objectives, serve its interests, those of its citizens and those of the Member States, and ensure the consistency, effectiveness and continuity of its policies and actions.

The Union's institutions shall be:

— the European Parliament,
— the European Council,
— the Council,
— the European Commission (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Commission’),
— the Court of Justice of the European Union,
— the European Central Bank,
— the Court of Auditors.

There are two main and often considered as opposing modes of cooperation between the EU Member States. Those are the intergovernmentalism and supranationalism. They are the products of a more general academic debate about European Integration. The intergovernmental approach places much more emphasis on the nation-states. It argues that the states are the only actors able to produce strong enough impulses for deeper integration. According to the intergovernmental school, all the integrative moves are possible, because they are beneficial for all the governments. The supranational approach is different and stands closer to the federalist view, according to which the power of Member States is curbed by the European institutions. This means that the EU institutions (or at least not all of them) constitute the arenas of political struggle between the individual member states. Instead, they overcome the national boundaries and focus on pan-European political issues.

Now watch this video in which former Presidents of EU institutions present them