The European Union can be a complex and confusing thing.

Here's Anthea's How-it-all-works no-nonsense explanation of the various cogs that make it work - and where MEPs fit into the machine.

For more information, download the EU explained booklet here: "The EU Explained"


The EU consists of four main institutions:

  • the European Parliament
  • the European Commission
  • the Council of the European Union
  • the European Court of Justice

Plus the European Council

 (Click the 'Next' button at the bottom of the page to find out more.)


There are currently 28 member states (countries) within the EU.

They are:

Austria                                                                     Italy

Belgium                                                                   Latvia

Bulgaria                                                                   Lithuania

Croatia                                                                     Luxembourg

Cyprus                                                                     Malta

Czech Republic                                                       Netherlands

Denmark                                                                  Poland

Estonia                                                                     Portugal

Finland                                                                     Romania

France                                                                      Slovakia

Germany                                                                  Slovenia

Greece                                                                     Spain

Hungary                                                                   Sweden

Ireland                                                                      United Kingdom