How the EU works

What do the various EU institutions do, how are EU laws made and what does membership of the EU involve for Sweden? Here you will find an overview of how the EU works, of how Sweden is affected and what role it plays in the EU.

Illustration of meeting room at the European Parliament.
Illustration: The Riksdag Administration

What is the EU?

The European Union (EU) is a union for cooperation between 27 countries. The history of the EU starts in the 1950s, and Sweden became a member in 1995. Over the years, the EU’s sphere of activities has grown, both in terms of the number of member states and the policy areas in which the member states cooperate. The EU has seven institutions with different tasks, such as adopting laws and determining the budget.

What does the EU do?

The EU member states have agreed to cooperate on various issues, such as trade, the environment and agriculture. Their cooperation is based on EU legislation, which has been decided jointly by the EU member states and which applies throughout the EU. The EU budget is based on membership contributions from the member states. Most of these contributions are returned to the countries in the form of support and subsidies.

EU citizens

As an EU citizen, you have the right to vote in elections to the European Parliament, to travel freely and to work or study in other EU countries. You may also submit your opinions on draft EU legislation or submit ideas of your own. You can contact Swedish authorities and the EU institutions for information on various issues.

Illustration: The Riksdag Administration

Elections to the European Parliament 2024

Elections to the European Parliament took place at the beginning of June. In Sweden, the elections took place on 9 June. Citizens in Sweden elected the people who will represent them during the coming five years.

Elections to the European Parliament 2024

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