How laws get made

The European Union doesn’t have a government that is directly elected by the people with a prime minister and a set of plans and programmes.

What you have are three groups of people that work together to do some of the things that governments do such as making laws and enforcing them.

One of the groups comes up with the ideas for laws. It is called the European Commission.

The two others debate the ideas and agree on what should become law. They are called the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

If either the Council or Parliament can’t agree then no law is made.

You can look at a chart showing how proposals for new laws go through the system until all three institutions have agreed.

Once laws are passed, it is for the member countries of the European Union to  put them into practice.

The EU agrees some 490 laws each year. The British Parliament passes about 3500.