Understanding European Politics

Many people have a hard time figuring out the make-up of European politics.  So here are some basics to get you started:  The executive body of the European Union (EU) (known as the European Commission) comprises 27 commissioners and is located in Brussels.  Its tasks include:  legislation proposal; ensuring treaty compliance.  The European Parliament (the European Union’s directly elected parliamentary institution) comprises 736 members and meets in Strasbourg and Brussels.  It is the EU’s legislative branch.  Then there is the European Council (EU institution “responsible for defining the general political direction and priorities of the Union”) comprising heads of each nation state’s government/states, meeting quarterly.  Of course, there is much more that goes on in European politics, but at least this makes a start to get you acquainted somewhat with European politics.