European Union
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EU institutions and bodies

The functioning of the European Union is supported by five major institutions:
The European Parliament (732 members 750 max.)
The Council of the European Union (or 'Council of Ministers') (25 members)
The European Commission (25 members, with a supporting staff of about 18,000)
The European Court of Justice (incorporating the Court of First Instance) (25 judges (& 25 judges of CFI))
The European Court of Auditors (25 members)
The European Council (regular summit with 26 members), which is a regular meeting of the 25 head of member states and the European Commission president is sometimes also listed as an institution, although since it lacks its own staff, budget and the legal powers held by the above 5 institutions, it is better described as a "quasi-institution".
There are two financial bodies:
European Central Bank (which alongside the national central banks, composes the European System of Central Banks)
European Investment Bank (including the European Investment Fund)
There are also two advisory committees to the institutions:
Committee of the Regions, advising on regional issues
Economic and Social Committee, advising on economic and social policy (principally relations between workers and employers)
There are also a great number of more specialized agencies of the European Union, usually set up by secondary legislation, which exist to implement particular policies. Examples are the EUROPOL (the European Police Office), the European Environment Agency, the European Aviation Safety Agency or the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market, the Political and Security Committee, established in the context of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, monitoring and advising on international issues of global security.
[editLocation of EU institutions
As soon as the European Economic Community (EEC) was established, political and legal wrangling began over where the European institutions should be located. The Member States were unable to reach agreement on where the permanent seats should be, particularly since the concept of a European district, proposed by Jean Monnet, won little support. From 1958, the Commissions of the EEC and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) had their seats in Brussels.
Until such time as the member states reached agreement on a single permanent seat for the Community institutions, European officials were distributed between Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg, leading, in particular, to a considerable increase in overheads. Brussels was chosen as the seat of the Single Commission and the Council of Ministers. In practical terms, this meant that most European officials were employed there.
Luxembourg sought compensation for the loss of the High Authority and the Special Council of Ministers of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), both of which were relocated to Brussels. However, Luxembourg became the seat for the new European Investment Bank (EIB) and was given the assurance that certain meetings of the Council of Ministers would be held there, in April, June and September.
The Court of Justice, the Central Statistical Office, the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, the Advisory Committee and the financial services of the ECSC and the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly also remained in Luxembourg.
Meanwhile, France refused to renounce its claim for Strasbourg as seat of the Parliamentary Assembly. An expensive and inconvenient compromise was reached whereby Parliament’s Members met in plenary session in Strasbourg but meetings of parliamentary committees were held in Brussels. Certain plenary meetings were also held in Luxembourg, which was also the seat of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.
The EU has no official capital and its institutions are divided between several cities:
Brussels — seat of the European Commission and the Council of Ministers. It is also the venue of the European Parliament's committee meetings and mini-sessions and (since 2004) the host city for all European Council summits.
Strasbourg — seat of the European Parliament and venue of its twelve week-long plenary sessions each year. Strasbourg is also the seat of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights, two institutions which are separate from (and have a wider membership than) the EU.
Luxembourg City — seat of the European Court of Justice, the Secretariat of the European Parliament and the European Investment Bank.