How does the EU work? | CNBC Explains

How does the EU work? | CNBC Explains

You’ve heard of the European Union, but
what about the European Commission? Or the European Council? Or what about the European Parliament? Yes, the EU is a complex system. So complicated that even former U.S. Secretary
of State Henry Kissinger, reportedly once asked “Who do I call, if I want to call
Europe?” As the name suggests, the European Union
is a political and economic union of 28 European countries. The genesis of the EU can be traced to the
aftermath of the two world wars, which were responsible for millions of deaths and a devastated
European economy. In 1958, six founding countries, Belgium,
Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, came together to form
the European Economic Community. The idea was that with increased economic
cooperation, they would be less likely to be drawn into a conflict. What started as a purely economic partnership
has evolved over the past 60 years into other policy areas too. These include climate,
security, and foreign relations. To represent this broader remit, the
European Economic Community became the European Union in 1993. So, how does the EU work? Well, one big thing to note is that there
is no single leader of the European Union. Instead, its responsibilities are spread across
seven institutions, but we’re going to focus on the three main ones:
The European Commission, the European Parliament and the
Council of the European Union. Let’s start with the European Commission. This is the engine room of the EU – the executive
body that proposes new laws. Every member state has its own commissioner
but they’re supposed to be politically independent, bound by a promise to represent the interests
of the EU before their home countries. Each commissioner is in charge of a specific
portfolio – similar to a government’s cabinet of ministers. This institution is based in the Belgian capital,
Brussels. Now, the European Parliament. It is based here in Brussels but also in the
French city of Strasbourg, where its members meet 12 times per year. This is
where lawmakers vote on laws. Presently, it has 751 Members of the European
Parliament, or MEPs, from 28 member states. However, with the U.K.’s departure from the EU,
that number is set to come down to 705. Importantly, this is the only European institution
that directly represents EU citizens. Every five years, citizens elect their representatives
to the European Parliament. Finally, let’s look at the Council of the
European Union. It’s made of ministers from the different
EU member states. Ministers with similar roles, whether it
be overseeing finance, education or defense, meet regularly to discuss, amend and adopt
laws. The Council of the European Union, together
with the European Parliament, are the main decision-making bodies of the EU. But don’t confuse the Council of the European
Union with the European Council. The leaders of the EU also meet in this building
for quarterly summits. Discussions here often happen at the highest
level, which is why you’ll see heads of state like the chancellor of Germany and president
of France meeting up in Brussels. Other important European bodies include the
European Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors and the European Central Bank. Based in Luxembourg, the ECJ ensures European
law is interpreted and applied in the same way across the EU. Kind of like the
U.S. Supreme Court. Also in Luxembourg is the Court of Auditors. It acts like the union’s CFO, responsible
for looking after the Community budget. And then there is the European Central Bank
in Frankfurt, which sets monetary policy in the eurozone. Yes, that’s right. The eurozone, not the EU. This is another important distinction. Currently, only 19 of the 28 EU member states
form the eurozone, while the remaining nine are still using their own national currencies. The EU is a complex political arrangement. Critics say it will not survive due to the
many differences of opinion between and within each country. And with tens of thousands of people across
dozens of nationalities working for the EU, its institutions have also been criticized
for its bureaucracies and complexities, saying it makes it hard to get things done. At the same time, this arrangement has lasted
more than 60 years and has so far achieved its main aim: avoiding war between the neighboring

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100 thoughts on “How does the EU work? | CNBC Explains

  1. So.. EU laws are made by a body full of unelected officials (the European Commission) that aren't held accountable to the public? Sounds like the death of democracy to me.

  2. Im glad the EU is collapsing
    just a lil reminder : the president of the European Commission said «  there’s no democratic votes above European treaties »
    We lost our sovereignties and lmao just look at brexit these serpents of the EU are still tryna avoid brexit even after 17M of brits voted

    They’re yelling when people are comparing the EU and the USSR ( they do share lot of thing )
    And top of that they wanna build an European federation , thes US of Europe lmao even though we don’t all have same languages, cultures as well

  3. I would like this video to be more exact. I like the video but wanted more details. I where can I get more info on the EU setup, structure, procedures, etc? How is this Britain Brexit affect the EU, Britain and USA?

  4. Well explained, Thanks CNBC👏
    Asian Countries should also make a body like EU, may be AU (Asian Union)😏

  5. We need a united Europe, for our geopolitical security. Otherwise larger powers outside of Europe, will divide up the European nations, and will have proxy wars in Europe, between the new global superpowers.
    Also the EU is an idealist, Utopian dream of nations working together for peace and unity.
    Just like banning slavery was a great Utopian act.

  6. answer me one question: why didn't they embraced the soviet union, instead of fighting it, after all they just have build a european soviet union in the end

  7. Surprised to see so many positive comments. Thank you for spreading actual information and thank you, dear fellow commenters, for keeping the comments and like bar positive.

    Vive l'Europe!
    Long live Europe!
    Lang lebe Europa!

  8. The Chancellor of Germany is not the head of state, she is the head of the government. Otherwise a good summary.

  9. As said by a Tory MEP, no U.K. PM has ever explained what the EU is and how it works and how the U.K. benefits, thus allowing people like the eurosceptics and the U.K. right wing press to poison the citizens of the U.K. and mislead them.

  10. Don't blame the EU for making a "problem."
    Why quotes? Because they didn't start a problem, they started a problem that was not a problem to being with!
    I think you know what I am talking about… … IT IS ARTICLE 13/17!

  11. This is actually rather Inaccurate and extremely Misleading…

    The European Commission does not Propose or Decide on Laws.
    Your Explanation Suggests that the Commission. (Which is not an Elected Body of the EU) Would have the Power to basicly Suggest Legislation itself.
    However its Part of the Executive. Not the Legislative. It does not have the Power to Suggest or Propose Laws itself.
    It "Writes" Laws. Upon Request by the Elected Government Members.
    The European Commission is the Civil Servants of the EU.
    When Laws are Proposed or Considered by the Parliament of the EU or the Council of the EU. The Commission will then Write these Laws in Accordance with Legal Procedure and Expert Knowledge on the Single Aspects of the Law.
    It is then Send back to the Party which Requested it to be Submitted as an actual Proposal for a Law so it can be Voted upon.

    When you say the European Parliament is the only Body in the EU which is Directly Representing the People then this is Partially Wrong and very Misleading.
    Because it Suggests to People that only the European Parliament is Elected.
    However this is not the Case.
    The European Council are the Leaders of each Member Country and have a Voting Power Relative to the Countries which they Represent.
    As all of these Countries are Democracies. All of these are Elected.
    Same goes for the Council of the European Union which consists of the Ministers of each Country and thus of Members of this Countries Elected Parties.
    Meaning that actually All 3 of the Main Decision Making Bodies of the EU. Are Elected by EU Citizens. And are either in Direct or Indirect Representation of the EU Population.

  12. For all who may concern: best criticism of this quite okay summary is
    Gilder von Schattenkreuz's

    btw. the parliament does not posses the power of direct legislative initiative 😉

  13. I can answer how the EU works: being a bunch of undemocratic old and women ruining nation states and giving money from the rich to the poor. Only certain countries benefit from it!

  14. The eu is not more complex as the usa. The eu is like the federale goverment and the countries have a lot of independent of the eu. In education, pension, healthcare,crime,military, environment laws, taxes and a lot more

  15. The EU has a sickness similar to HIV, these are the Anti-EU parties. In Britain the virus succeeded and now Britain has fullblown ADIS.

  16. How to make a comment about the EU.
    Step 1: Don't know anything.
    Step 2: Claim to know everything.
    Step 3: Draw comparison to other systems you know nothing about.
    Step 4: . . .
    Step 5: Profit!

  17. Anything this BIG will become BUREAUCRATIC. People who complain of sluggishness should also consider dictatorships, they are effectively fast.

  18. "Has evolved" You mean forced upon by idealogues, without a democratic mandate and against the No results of what referenda there were.

  19. Politicians electing politicians, highly centralised power in the hands of a few, cratos without the demos – pretty much sums it up.

  20. There is a lot of misinformation going around from old wrinkly British gammon that have small penises and blame the EU/immigrants for their miserable lives. Be wary

  21. I will tell you how eu works.
    1 they will not listen to people
    2. course more problems to the world
    3 destroy people lives
    4 tell lies
    And etc (to be honest I can't even remember if eu ever done anything good)

  22. Good setup, but they must try to reform very fast. Make the whole project a little bit simple, stop populism within Europe or the entire project will come down like HOUSE OFF CARDS!!!

  23. If it looks complicated, sounds complicated and then it most likely is complicated.

    EU Voters have no chance.

  24. macron has become the latest loser, May has few days left while merkel a few months……..abolish the eu (eternal unrest).

  25. Basically, you have a group of elites that run the entire continent and claim that all members are equal members but really it's germany calling all the shots. It's basically a dictatorship on a continental scale, the fourth reich in all but name. The union was originally a trading bloc but over the years it has become a means to control europe by keeping all the smaller nations in check and threatening them if they step out of line. The EU commission is nothing more than a group of bullies who manage the day to day workings of the mafia that is the european union.

    When they are given an answer they don't like in a referendum they make them vote again until they get what they want and when someone wants to leave the union they make it as hard as possible to set an example to other countries who are thinking about leaving. Does that sound like a friendly union to you? They've only lasted this long because they've integrated the economy so much and if anybody wants to leave they are told that the skies will collapse on them and their country will be in ruins. They tried this with britain but the british people took no bullshit and ignored their scaremongering and in return voted to leave. They've made it as hard as possible so nobody else thinks about leaving but the dominoes are starting to collapse. Brexit kicked off a continent wide revolt against the status quo and the elites are scared they are starting to lose power.

    What was once a trading bloc and a friendly union for european countries to join after the war is now an extortionate bully club and the first step on the road to a one world government that allows the one percent to control the population of earth. Every continent and every country on the planet, that is their end goal.

    Those who support the EU don't know that they have got stockholm syndrome and are adhering to the terms of their own enslavement.

  26. "many say that the EU won't survive bcs of the differences etc."
    shows the Polish prime minister, 4:43
    If u are Polish, u will understand the irony XD

  27. So…… European adults had to have EU to prevent wars among themselves, the way ancient China had to unify its kingdoms.

  28. "If the EU was a single country applying for membership in the EU, it would be turned down due to the lack of democracy."
    M. Schulz, former head of the european Parliament

  29. What is the cabinet of the USA President? What about the House of Representatives? Or about the US Senate? Yes, the United States of America is very complex.

  30. The EU parliament does NOT make laws. The legislative power is the EU politburo: Commission + Council. Just like in the old Soviet Union

  31. România, the most corrupt communist country în EU full of mafia

  32. "How does the EU work"
    : not democratically let's put it that way, the sooner the UK is out the better. 👍 🇬🇧

  33. Contradictions, the eu does not work is more of a better title. They unelected, unaudited, full of pc idiots like bbc. Wish i could run my company the same.

  34. You forgot to mention a single entity that actually shapes the future of the EU. The European Commission decides on what new legislation to propose, but they do not initiate those. That can naturally only be done by those who have an agenda.

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