The European Union is unique.

It is not a federation in the style of the United States of America, because its Member States remain independent sovereign nations. Nor is it an inter-governmental organisation akin to the United Nations, because, by pooling a part of their sovereignty, its Member States have an influence and a clout that they wouldn’t possess as individual entities.

This pooled sovereignty is managed by joint institutions, each one with a specific role to play.

The European Parliament represents the citizens of the European Union, the European Council and the Council of Ministers represent the national governments, and the European Commission in turn represents the interests of the Union as a whole. In total, there are 13 European institutions and 4 inter-institutional bodies.

Europe Day is an opportunity for citizens to find out more about all of these bodies which make the European project possible.

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