European Law Monitor

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Who Is Involved in Making European Laws?


There are three key institutions involved in proposing, debating, amending and finally passing European Union laws. They are

a) the European Commission – the executive body that prepares the proposals

b) the European Parliament – the elected body debates the proposals, may put forward amendments, and reject or accept the proposal.

c) the European Council - made up of member goverment ministers, they may accept or reject the European Parliament's amendments and may put forward their own. Once the Council approves a proposal it becomes law.

Approval of a proposal by the Council is the last stage in the European Union legislative process, and member states are then obliged to pass their own domestic legislation to enact the European act within the timescale set in it.

These three organisations are known as the inter-institutional triangle, as they are the core players.

Each of these institutions will appoint committees to steer the draft proposal through the legislative process.