Institutions and authorities

Institutions and authorities

Council of the European Union

The Council of the European Union has five key responsibilities: 

  • It adopts legislative acts (Regulations, Directives, etc.), in many cases in "co-decision" with the European Parliament;
  • It helps coordinate Member States' policies, for example, in the economic field;
  • It develops the common foreign and security policy, on the basis of strategic guidelines set by the European Council;
  • It concludes international agreements on behalf of the Union;
  • It adopts the Union's budget, together with the European Parliament.


The European Investment Bank's mission is to invest in projects that promote the objectives of the European Union. It is non-profit-making and gets no money from savings or current accounts. Nor does it use any funds from the EU budget. Instead, the EIB is financed through borrowing on the financial markets and by the bank's shareholders - the member states of the European Union. They subscribe jointly to its capital, each country's contribution reflecting its economic weight within the Union.

ERA (European Union Agency for Railways)

The European Union Agency for Railways works with the whole European rail sector and its organisations. For the purpose of preparing its recommendations, the Agency establishes working parties with representatives of the rail sector organisations and the national safety authorities. In certain cases it consults organisations representing labour, freight customers and passengers before finalising its recommendations.

European Commission

The Commission is the politically independent institution that represents and upholds the interests of the EU as a whole. It is the driving force within the EU?s institutional system: it proposes legislation, policies and programmes of action and it is responsible for implementing the decisions of Parliament and the Council.

European Parliament

The European Parliament has three main roles: It shares with the Council the power to legislate; It exercises democratic supervision over all EU institutions, and in particular the Commission and; It shares with the Council authority over the EU budget.


The International Transport Forum (ITF) is a global platform and meeting place at the highest level for transport, logistics and mobility. Key figures from government and politics, business and industry, research and civil society meet in Leipzig each year to debate a transport topic of worldwide strategic importance. The ITF is an inter-governmental organisation within the OECD family. Its founding member countries include all OECD members, as well as many countries in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, China, India and Brazil are being invited to participate in the Forum. The aim of the Forum is to foster a deeper understanding among policy makers and wider audiences of the role of transport as a key to economic growth and of transport’s impact on the environmental and social dimensions of sustainability.


The Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail principal aim is to establish a uniform system of law applicable to the carriage of passengers, luggage and goods in international through traffic by rail between Member States, and to facilitate the application and development of this system. This legal system may, in addition to rail transport, also be applied to international through traffic in land transport (roads), maritime transport and on inland waterways.