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A Changing EU

This fact was correct when it was updated on 22 Sep 2020

How does the EU make laws?

The European Commission (the EU’s civil service) is responsible for drafting and proposing legislation.

The European Parliament (elected by EU citizens) and the Council of Ministers (representing national governments and attended by national ministers) amend the draft proposals and vote on whether these proposals should become EU law. National governments and the European Commission are then responsible for seeing that those laws that are passed are then implemented. The two most common forms of EU legal act are regulations and directives. Both regulations and directives are legally binding, and both are applicable to all 27 countries of the EU.

Find out more – read our explainer on EU institutions or our fact on whether EU law takes precedence over UK law?

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