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The European Union's Institutions

The European Union is governed by five institutions:

  1. The Commission: the EU's executive organ
  2. The Parliament: the legislative organ of the Union
  3. The Council of Ministers
  4. The Court of Justice
  5. The Court of Auditors

The Union has been described as a supranational entity. The member states have delegated part of their national sovereignty to the EU institutions.

The Union also operates according to the principle of "subsidiarity", which characterizes most federal systems. Under this principle, the Union is granted jurisdiction only for those policies that cannot be handled effectively at lower levels of government, i.e., national, regional, or local.