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What is Pillars of the EU

Under the EU Treaty, the EU is founded on three "pillars".

The first pillar is effectively the EC as established by the EC Treaty, which covers policies in the social and economic spheres, including the Single Market, the environment, health and consumer protection and regional policy. Under the first pillar, decision-making usually involves the Commission, European Parliament and Council working together. Many of these decisions are taken on the basis of a qualified majority vote in the Council.

The second pillar is the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Decisions under this pillar can only be taken by the Council and unanimity is required.

The third pillar covers Justice and Home Affairs. Decisions can only be taken by the Council, and many decisions require the Council to act unanimously.

Crown Copyright. Material taken from the DTI - Department for Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.

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Term created / updated 2007-02-18 23:56:31

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