European Quarter

Brussels is one of the most important cities in the European Union. It’s not only the capital of Belgium, it’s also serves as headquarters of many European institutions. Most of these institutions are in the European Quarter. The Quarter extends from Brussels Park to Luxembourg Square. The oldest building in the quarter is the Berlaymont.

The European Parliament

The European Parliament is the heart of the European democracy. It is elected every five years. EU citizens elect their members on a national layer. Its main seat is in Strasbourg but extra sessions are held in Brussels so you can also visit MEPs in Brussels. The European Parliament in Brussels does also have a visitor centre called the Parlamentarium where you can learn many interesting things about the European democracy. Currently, the European Parliament consists of 705 members, the Austrian delegation consists of 19 MEPs. Due to its shape, the plenary room of the parliament in Brussels is also called the hemicycle.

The European Commission

The European Commission is comparable with a government. Its task is to prepare new bills for the European Union. The current head of the Commission is Ursula von der Leyen from Germany. Every member state nominates an EU commissioner. You can compare a commissioner to a federal minister. Our commissioner is Johannes Hahn from the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP).

The European Council

The European Commission is comparable with a government. Its task is to prepare new bills for the European Union. The current head of the Commission is Ursula von der Leyen from Germany. Every member state nominates an EU commissioner. You can compare a commissioner to a federal minister. Our commissioner is Johannes Hahn from the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP).

Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union is not to be confused with the European Council. It’s a meeting of the ministers of the different member states. But also ambassadors and other representatives of the member states can be present at the sessions of the Council of the EU. They discuss specific bills. Only the ministers who are responsible for that topic are present (e.g. if there is a meeting about agriculture, there are only the ministers of agriculture.). The seat of the Council of the EU is the Europa building in the European Quarter.

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