Seat of government: Bruxelles / Brussel.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: Ultimate authority lies with representatives of the elected member governments, as the European Council (heads of government) and council of ministers (relevant ministers for each EU competency), while the European Parliament is directly elected within state-based constituencies, and the European Commission functions as an administration, chosen by the council but, for now, heavily influenced by the parliament.
Heads of government: Ursula von der Leyen, EPP, president of the commission (since 2019); Charles Michel, ALDE, president of the European Council (since 2019).
Chief parliamentary parties: European People’s Party; Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats; Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
Assessment: Region of mixed control, with twenty-eight members. Governed partially by its member governments and partially by a directly-elected parliament. The member states are Ireland, Portugal, Espańa, France, België, Nederland, Lëtzebuerg, Deutschland, Danmark, Sverige, Suomi, Eesti, Latvija, Lietuva, Polska, Česko, Slovensko, Magyarország, Österreich, Italia, Slovenija, Hrvatska, Malta, România, България « Bǝlgarija », Ελλάδα « Ellada », and Κύπρος « Kupros ». The rotating presidency of the council of ministers is currently held by Portugal. A constitution drafted for the Union in 2004 was rejected by France and Nederland in referenda and was then renogotiated as an amending treaty. That pact, the Treaty of Lisboa, lost in the only scheduled referendum, in Ireland; after negotiating clarifications and changes, Ireland held and passed a second referendum, leading to its eventual implementation in 2009. José Durăo Barroso (2004-14) was chosen as commission president in 2004, and reelected in 2009; under the terms of Lisboa, Herman von Rompuy (2009-14) was chosen as the first permanent president of the heads of government in 2009, and reelected in 2012. In 2013, a treaty on fiscal union took effect, which is expected to lead to greater political integration among most but not all members. The European Parliament successfully pushed for more power (vis-ŕ-vis the council) in the 2014 negotiations over the new commission, by securing the selection of Jean-Claude Juncker (Spitzenkandidat of the largest parliamentary party; 2014-9); at the same time, Donald Tusk (2014-9) was chosen to replace van Rompuy. In 2016, Britain, a member since 1973, voted by referendum to withdraw from the Union, and did so in 2020. Juncker served only one term; he was replaced by von der Leyen in 2019, and Michel was chosen to replace Tusk.
Updated: 2021 June 18.