Representatives in the European Union Institutions

13.12.2010. 12:52

European Parliament

European Commission

Economic and Social Committee

Committee of the Regions

Court of Justice of the European Union

European Court of Auditors

The European Parliament

The European Parliament (hereinafter – the Parliament) is one of the decision-making bodies of the European Union (hereinafter – the EU). Since the Treaty of Lisbon has entered into force, the role of the Parliament in the decision-making process has increased. Most European laws are approved in co-decision procedure with the Council of the EU.

The Parliament takes part in drafting legislation which has an impact on the daily lives of citizens: for example, on environmental protection, consumer rights, equal opportunities, transport, and free movement of workers, capital, services and goods. The Parliament has budgetary powers and exercises democratic control over all the European institutions.

Work of the members of the European Parliament is organised through the participation in the specialised committees, but decisions are adopted in the plenary sessions in Strasbourg or Brussels.   

The European Parliament consists of 751 members from all EU member states. They are elected once every five years by voters across the 28 member states of the EU.

Latvian members in the European Parliament:

1. Inese VAIDERE
Eiropas Tautas partijas (Kristīgie demokrāti) grupa

2. Sandra KALNIETE
Eiropas Tautas partijas (Kristīgie demokrāti) grupa

3. Krišjānis KARIŅŠ
Eiropas Tautas partijas (Kristīgie demokrāti) grupa

4. Artis PABRIKS
Eiropas Tautas partijas (Kristīgie demokrāti) grupa

5. Andrejs MAMIKINS
Eiropas Parlamenta sociālistu un demokrātu progresīvās alianses grupa

6. Tatjana ŽDANOKA
Zaļie/Eiropas Brīvā apvienība

7. Roberts ZĪLE
Eiropas Konservatīvo un reformistu grupa

8. Iveta GRIGULE
Grupa „Brīvības un demokrātijas Eiropa”

The European Commission

The European Commission (hereinafter - Commission) is the main institution that initiates proposals for the European law. The mission of the European Commission is to promote the general interests of the EU. The European Commission oversees the correct implementatio of the Treaties and the European law, carries out common policies and manages the funds.

The current European Commission was approved by the European Parliament on February 9, 2010 for a five year term – from 2010 till 2014. The president of the European Commission is José Manuel Barroso. Each member state appointed candidate for the post of commissioner and after the formation of the Commission was set up, the European Parliament interviewed each candidate and voted on the whole team.

Member of the European Commission from Latvia is Valdis Dombrovskis - Vice - president for Euro and social Dialogue (2014 - 2019).

The European Economic and Social Committee

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is an advisory body representing employers, trade unions, farmers, consumers and the other interest groups that collectively make up organised civil society. It gives a formal platform to above-mentioned representatives to express their point of views on the European Union (hereinafter – the EU) issues. Opinion of the EESC is forwarded to the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European Parliament. Thus, it has a key role to play in the Union's decision-making process.

The EESC was set up by the 1957 Rome Treaties in order to involve economic and social interest groups in the establishment of the common market and to provide institutional mechanism for briefing the European Commission and the Council of the EU on the EU issues. EESC's role has been enforced in further development process of the Union.

Members are nominated by national governments and appointed by the Council of the EU for a renewable 4-year term of office. The next renewal will occur on September 2015.

They belong to one of three groups: Employers; Employees; Various Interests. The 344 members of the EESC work in the 7 sections/commissions (Economic and Monetary Union, Economic and Social Cohesion; Single Market, Production and Consumption; Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and Information Society; Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship; Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment; External Relations Section; Consultative Commission on Industrial Change) and has nine plenary sessions per year.

Latvia has 7 members in the EESC:

  • Vitālijs Gavrilovs
  • Gundars Strautmanis
  • Ariadne Ābeltiņa
  • Pēteris Krīgers
  • Gunta Anča
  • Baiba Miltoviča
  • Gustavs Norkārklis

  • The Committee of the Regions

    The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is European Union’s assembly of local and regional representatives that provides sub-national authorities with a direct voice within the EU institutional framework. The mission of the CoR is to involve regional and local authorities in the European decision-making process at the earliest stage through mandatory consultation by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on key policy areas of regional concern and on own-initiative opinions enabling the CoR to put issues on the EU agenda.

     The CoR was set up by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty in order to involve regions and cities with a voice in the EU decision-making process and act as a direct link between Brussels and the citizens. The role of the CoR has been enforced in further development process of the Union.

    The 344 members of the CoR work in the six commissions (Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy; Commission for Economic and Social Policy; Commission for Education, Youth and Research; Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy; Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs; Commission for Natural Resources) and has five plenary sessions per year. The CoR holds regular consultations with national and European associations as well as networks and platforms of regions and cities set up to exchange information on EU priority issues.

    Full members from Latvia:

    CoR Birojs: Andris Jaunsleinis (alternate - Edvīns Bartkevičs)
    COTER: Guntars Krieviņš (alternate - Leonīds Salcevičs)
    ENVE: Edvīns Bartkevičs (alternate - Inesis Boķis)
    NAT: Aleksandrs Lielmežs (alternate - Jānis Neimanis)
    ECOS: Andris Jaunsleinis (alternate - Jānis Vītols)
    EDUC: Ligita Gintere (alternate - Jānis Trupovnieks)
    CIVEX: Indra Rassa (alternate - Nellija Kleinberga)

    The Court of Justice of the European Union

    The Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter – the Court of Justice of the EU) is the institution which encompasses the whole judiciary. The Court of Justice of the EU has three sub-courts: the European Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal.

    The mission of the Court of Justice of the EU is to ensure that law is observed in the interpretation and application of the Treaties. The Court reviews the legality of the acts of the institutions of the EU; ensures that the member states comply with obligations under the Treaties and interprets EU law at the request of the national courts and tribunals.  

     The Court of Justice of the EU constitutes the judicial authority of the EU and, in cooperation with the courts and tribunals of the member states; it ensures the uniform application and interpretation of EU law.

     Latvia is represented by Egils Levits in the European Court of Justice and by Ingrīda Labucka in the General Court.

    The European Court of Auditors

    The European Court of Auditors carries out the audit of EU finances. As the EU’s external auditor, it contributes to improving EU financial management and acts as the independent guardian of the financial interests of the citizens of the EU.

    Member of Latvia is Auditor Ludboržs Igors.

    Mr Igors Ludboržs is the Dean of Chamber IV “Revenue, Research and Internal Policies, and Institutions and Bodies of the European Union” and a Member of the Administrative Committee.

    Since the Treaty of Maastricht the European Court of Auditors has been recognised as one of the five institutions of the EU. The Treaty of Nice of 1 February 2003 confirmed the principle that there should be one Member from each member state, allowed the Court the option of being organised in chambers and highlighted the importance of the Court's cooperation with the national audit bodies.