Europe and other difficulties

Bill Dawson reporting on the latest news coming out of the EU behemoth, poses an interesting question:
The European Commission (now which one is that: “European Union”, the “Council of Europe”, “European Parliament” or the “European Presidency” or is it its own thing?)
Hmm. I’ve never heard the difference between these bodies adequately explained (assuming there is one). Can anyone help out?



  1. BigFire

    Only in the degree they’re away from accountability of the unwashed masses and the amount of money they can put into their own personal slush fund.

  2. John Anderson

    Can’t say I know the difference, except the EC, or European Commission, seems to be top dog. A collection of bureaucrats, what they say goes – what the President says is quite ignoreable, what the Parliament says either comes from the EC or can be thrown out by the Comission, etc. Think of the EC as the equivalent of the Iranian Grand Council of mullahs and ayatollahs, people who have power without answering to anyone – especially those over whom they have power.

  3. Dave J

    Amazing: the Certificate in European Law that I earned along with my JD has a purpose!
    The European Commission is the bureaucracy of the European Union (EU). The Commission is headed by Commissioners who are generally has-been or also-ran politicians, and the Commissioners have a President, Romano Prodi. The European Council is the Council of Ministers of the European Union meeting at the level of heads of state or government (rather than the ministerial level like normal). The European Presidency is the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, which is a by a country rather than a particular person, and rotates among the EU member states. The European Parliament is the elected talking-shop forum that pretends to be the EU’s legislature, while the Council of Ministers is the real legislature.
    That’s to be distinguished from the Council of Europe, which is much larger than the EU in terms of member states (it goes as far as Kazakhstan if I recall correctly), but is mostly just a frum without any power. Except that the European Convention on Human Rights is a treaty that came out of the Council of Europe, which may or may not be binding on all its members. The Convention created the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which is frequently confused with the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The ECJ is the EU’s supreme court; it also has a lower court called the Court of First Instance.