European Government for Americans

As part of my work on dealing with regulation in the EU, I’ve come to a simplistic understanding of EU governing bodies by analogy with equivalent US governing bodies:

  1. Lower House: The European Parliament is the US House of Representatives.
  2. Upper House: The European Council is the US Senate from the early US when the states directly appointed senators
  3. Executive: The European Commission is the US President and Cabinet, except there is exactly one cabinet member from each state

On both sides of the Atlantic, both the lower and upper house must agree on legislation before it is passed.

One difference is that in the EU the executive proposes legislation, but in the US it can also be proposed by the upper or lower house

Another practical difference is the US bodies have only two political parties because of the first-past-the-post voting system. In contrast, the EU bodies have many political parties because of greater diversity and more proportional voting systems.

And of course in Europe, the individual member states retain much more sovereignty than US states do (despite what Texas might think).

Update 2024-03-01, more analogs in response to a comment on BlueSky:

EU conciliation committees are US congressional conference committees, except also including some cabinet members, and with a deadline.

Trilogue is when the president invites leaders of both houses of Congress to the White House for an informal chat to move some legislation forward.