Like any other public legal entity, the European Union also consists of bodies. The five most important are called institutions. These are the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, and the Court of Auditors. They have their origins in the treaties and act both for the Communities and for the other policy domains of the EU. Depending on the pillar in which they must act, their competencies and
the procedures they must follow vary.
In addition to the institutions, there are also other bodies that have their origins in the Community treaties. The most important bodies involved in decision-making in the EC are the Economic and Social Committee (ESC) and the Committee of the Regions (CoR). Both bodies advise the Council, the European Parliament, and the Commission.
Due to the great number of tasks of the Commission and the Council, they often delegate part of their competencies to an agency. These agencies were especially established to implement a specific part of Community law. For example, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work provides the institutions with scientific and statistical information on working conditions; the European Environmental Agency provides the institutions with information on the environment. In addition, there are a multitude of semi-independent community bodies with a status of independent legal entities.