As provided in the Treaty on European Union (TEU) the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council of the EU, the European Commission, the European Court of Justice, the European Central Bank and the European Court of Auditors are defined as official bodies of the European Union.
In addition there are other institutions playing an essential role in European policy shaping and implementation. The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions are advisory bodies in the legislative process. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the official financial institution of the European Union financing projects within and outside the EU. The European Ombudsman and the European Data Protection Supervisor are responsible for the protection of citizens' rights.