The EU is a unique economic and political partnership between 28 European countries. The organisation oversees co-operation among its members in a number of areas, including trade, employment, the environment, and transport.
How the EU works
There are five EU institutions, each playing a specific role contributing to the 'governance' of the European Union:
- European Parliament (elected by the peoples of the Member States)
- Council of the European Union (representing the Governments of the Member States)
- European Commission (driving force and executive body)
- Court of Justice (ensuring compliance with the Law)
- Court of Auditors (controlling sound and lawful management of the EU budget)
The European Commission (EC)
The European Commission is effectively the 'executive arm' of the European Union. The Commission's main roles are to:
- Propose legislation which is then adopted by the co-legislators, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers
- Enforce European law (where necessary with the help of the Court of Justice of the EU)
- Set a objectives and priorities for action, outlined yearly in the Commission Work Programme and work towards delivering them
- Manage and implement EU policies and the budget
- Represent the Union outside Europe (negotiating trade agreements between the EU and other countries).
There are 32 different topic areas that the commission deals with, as listed below. The areas which impact most on transportation are Environment, Research & Innovation, Regional Policy and Transport and Mobility.
The Role of LEPT at an EU level
LEPT works with the 33 London boroughs to build upon European knowledge and best practice, helping cities to work together to deliver specific transport policies and initiatives, and providing better value to London.
LEPT works to:
- Ensure a coordinated approach to London borough interest and activities in European project work
- Provide an efficient two-way communication process between all relevant stakeholders in London and Europe
- Provide an effective management structure that allows boroughs to maintain their individual interests and issues whilst benefiting from an overarching objective to promote London within the EU
Coordinate bids for funding through the appropriate bidding processes, on both a local or national level and a European level.