The European Union: Institutions

8 July 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Editorial, EU blog post series, European Union Reading Time:  30 minutes

The Politics of the European Union are different from other organisations and states due to the unique nature of the European Union (EU). The EU is similar to a confederation, where many policy areas are federalised into common institutions capable of making law; however the EU does not, unlike most states, control foreign policy, defence policy or the majority of direct taxation policies (the EU does limit the level of variation allowed for VAT). These areas are primarily under the control of the EU’s member states although a certain amount of structured co-operation and coordination takes place in these areas. For the EU to take substantial actions in these areas, all Member States must give their consent. EU laws that override national laws are more numerous than in historical confederations; however the EU is legally restricted from making law outside its remit or where it is no more appropriate to do so at a national or local level (subsidiarity) when acting outside its exclusive competencies. The principle of subsidiarity does not apply to areas of exclusive competence.   read more…

Theme Week Brussels – The Europa Building, a new home for the European Council

8 June 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, EU blog post series, European Union, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Architects and engineers: Phillipe SAMYN, VALLE, HAPPOLD

© Architects and engineers: Phillipe SAMYN, VALLE, HAPPOLD

The Résidence Palace is a complex of buildings between the Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat and the Chaussée d’Etterbeek/Etterbeeksesteenweg in the European Quarter of Brussels. It is formed of three buildings, a press centre and a building currently being renovated for use by the European Council, mainly, and even also (for some occasions) by the Council of the European Union as a summit building. This new building will be named Europa. To the west lies the main Council building, Justus Lipsius and across the road lie the Berlaymont and Charlemagne buildings of the European Commission.   read more…

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