Since 2016 new EU rules on mortgage credits have ensured clear information in advertisements and timely information to consumers before signing a contract. Higher average temperatures have many consequences, including stronger and more frequent extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and storms. The EU also ensures animal health and welfare in the agri-food chain. The Commission is responsible for managing and implementing the EU budget and the policies and programmes adopted by the Parliament and the Council. To prevent overfishing, quotas for Member States set limits on how much of each species can be caught. By November 2018 the plan had mobilised â¬360 billion worth of investments. The EUâs trade policy covers trade in goods and services, but also matters such as the commercial aspects of intellectual property and foreign direct investment. sending expertise, teams and equipment to countries affected around the world by earthquakes (Iraq, Mexico), floods (Albania, Peru) and epidemics (Uganda, Bangladesh) in 2017; helping people affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean in September 2017. More than 340 million EU citizens in 19 countries now use it as their currency and enjoy its benefits. Since May 2018, citizens and businesses benefit from strong new EU, The Commission aims to provide citizens with the, The Commission has proposed new tools to help defend people and businesses. Erasmus+ boosts the job prospects and the personal development of young people by giving them the skills they need in the labour market and society, both now and in the future. The work of the European Union is assisted by a number of EU agencies, which are separate legal entities set up to perform specific tasks under EU law. All EU Member States have their own research policies and funding schemes, but many important issues can be best tackled by helping researchers and innovators in different countries to work together. Committees to prepare legislation: the Parliament has 20 committees and two subcommittees, each handling a particular policy area. Any European country may apply for membership if it respects the democratic values of the EU and is committed to promoting them. The European Commission is not liable for any consequence stemming from the reuse of this publication. The EU’s 512 million people citizens are currently represented by 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), including 73 from the UK. There are several types of legal acts, which are applied in different ways. It also means building and strengthening democracy, human rights (including equality between women and men) and the rule of law. The EUâs health policy promotes exercise both through the sharing of good practices between EU countries and with interested parties, and through the EU platform for action on diet, physical activity and health, which provides a forum for tackling adverse trends. Transport is a major contributor to the economy: transport services alone accounted for around â¬664 billion in gross value added (the contribution to the economy) in 2016, and employed around 11 million people. It will improve the business environment by reforming telecoms and media policy, reviewing the rules on how online platforms behave and ensuring that the online world is safe and secure. Once the Commission President is nominated, the Council of the European Union nominates the other 26 Members of the Commission in agreement with the nominated President, and the Members as a single body are then subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament. investing in innovation and the digital economy; creating training and employment opportunities for young people; continuing the EUâs work on a comprehensive approach to migration and border management; building up the EUâs capacity in security and defence; strengthening the EUâs external action and investing in climate action and environmental protection; strengthening the economic and monetary union. The transport single market is crucial for the whole EU economy. The EU is working to ensure the financial system remains strong and secure and that the single market offers consumers and businesses the financial products they need. It supports the arts and helps our cultural and creative industries to thrive, specifically through the Creative Europe programme. The Commission is also responsible for sectors with geostrategic implications and a high degree of public intervention, such as defence, security and space. The aim is to help European companies to become smarter, more innovative and more sustainable. This article is more than 1 year old. All pictures: Â© Shutterstock, Â© Fotolia, The European Union: What it is and what it does, How the European Union makes decisions and takes action, the Commissionâs White Paper on the Future of Europe, ensure the accessibility, effectiveness and resilience of health systems in the EU, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/public-health_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/climate-action_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/economy-finance-and-euro_en, European Commission reflection paper on the deepening of the economic and monetary union, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/migration-and-asylum_en, Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/borders-and-security_en, The EUâs business and industrial policy, the European Fund for Strategic Investments, https://europa.eu/european-union/topics/enterprise_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/single-market_en, https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/employment-and-social-affairs_en, European Commission reflection paper on the social dimension of Europe, European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/education-and-training_en, open innovation, open science and open to the world, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/research-and-innovation_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/regional-policy_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/transport_en, Direct payments that support farm incomes, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/agriculture_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/maritime-affairs-and-fisheries_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/environment_en, Clean Energy for All Europeans initiative, Some of the additional policies and actions, 16 ongoing civilian missions and military operations, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/foreign-affairs-and-security-policy_en, European Commission reflection paper on the future of European defence, facebook.com/EuropeanExternalActionService, https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/european-neighbourhood-policy_en, EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/trade_en, European Commission reflection paper on harnessing globalisation, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/international-cooperation-and-development_en, Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/humanitarian-aid-and-civil-protection_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/justice-and-fundamental-rights_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/food-safety_en, Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/consumers_en, EUâs agenda for sustainable development, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/banking-and-finance_en, financial support (state aid) from EU governments to companies, European Commission fined Google â¬2.42 billion, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/competition_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/taxation_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/customs_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/culture-and-media_en, Erasmus for young entrepreneurs programme, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/youth_en, the Council recommendation on promoting health-enhancing physical activity across sectors, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/sport_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/budget_en, European Commission reflection paper on the future of EU finances, https://ec.europa.eu/info/topics/fraud-prevention_en, Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, elects a number of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), a modern, long-term budget for the 2021-2027 period, https://europa.eu/european-union/contact_en, https://europa.eu/european-union/index_en, https://ec.europa.eu/info/about-european-commission/contact/local-offices-eu-member-countries_en, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/at-your-service/en/stay-informed/liaison-offices-in-your-country, https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/area/geo_en, This publication is available in the following formats. Altogether, from 2014 to 2020, the EU will deploy some â¬82 billion in external funding through grants, tenders and support for national budgets, and, increasingly, by using EU funding as âseed moneyâ to encourage local public and private investment. Work in the European Parliamentâs eighth term ended on 18 April 2019. It also offers access to services such as Your Europe Advice (for personalised legal advice) and SOLVIT (solving problems with public authorities abroad). The President can also convene additional meetings to address urgent issues. It is possible that the Parliament and the Council will agree at this stage (a second-reading agreement). The European Council takes the form of (usually quarterly) summit meetings between EU leaders, chaired by the President of the European Council. The decisions of the Commission are made based on the collective responsibility of the College of Commissioners. Citizens can share their views on Commission initiatives at key stages of the policymaking and law-making process. If no agreement was found at first reading, the second reading will then begin. how does it affect the countries that join it? Your MEPs are your elected representatives in the EU and they represent your interests and those of your city or region in Europe. The EU has introduced marine protected areas to safeguard marine ecosystems and biodiversity, along with the services these ecosystems provide. You can contact this service: Information about the European Union in all the official languages of the EU is available on the Europa website at: https://europa.eu/european-union/index_en. A population in good health is also good for the economy, and therefore the EUâs ambition is to ensure the accessibility, effectiveness and resilience of health systems in the EU. Over 200 different unsafe products are notified via the EUâs Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products each year. The EU is in particular working to: In addition to the single marketâs rules guaranteeing free movement of people, EU citizens do not need a passport to travel within the Schengen area, which currently comprises the EU Member States (except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania), plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Each Member State elects a number of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs); seats are allocated on the basis of the population of each Member State. It dedicates the bulk of its funding to help the EUâs less-developed countries and regions to catch up and so reduce the economic, social and territorial disparities that still exist in the EU. The number of deaths on Europeâs roads halved between 1992 and 2010. To deliver new and more effective rights for citizens, the European Pillar of Social Rights enshrines principles and rights in the areas of equal opportunities on the labour market, fair working conditions and social protection. Since 2014 the EU has removed nearly 90 market access barriers in non-EU countries, affecting a range of EU industries and exports worth some â¬8.2 billion a year.