There is no thematic distribution between the different services and institutions in the EU; each one operates on all the subjects according to its means of action. Thereby, in order to use all the means of action and multiply the prospects for a successful conclusion to your claims, any action in the EU should aim at all the services and institutions.
The European Parliament has, with the Council of the EU, legislative authority in the EU.
The European deputies (MEP) have many tools at their disposal to act on the processes, whether it is in a formal or informal way. The deputies do not have the power of legislative initiative. They are not eligible to propose new regulations but, in practice, the Parliament has such production that your requests will find most of the time their place in an existing process.
Once informed by you, a European deputy can decide to propose a modification of the reports, directives or regulations under preparation so that these take into account your problems. The European deputies can also adopt urgent resolutions to report violations quickly.
This parliamentary structure offers you a lot of flexibility in your actions; the support of only one deputy can be enough to achieve your requests.
The members of the European Parliament divide the work by splitting into specific commissions on the basis of thematic areas (foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, development, budgetary control, etc.). It will be important to identify the relevant parliamentary committees in order to reach the deputies most concerned by your requests. Here is a summary of the information. Keep in mind that the Committees have an EU-internal and/or EU-external competence.
Futhermore, the European Parliament has delegations of MEPs in charge of the work on a country or on a specific international body. When you try to identify the relevant actors for your problem in the EU, the members of the appropriate delegation on your country will be privileged interlocutors.
Aside from the purely legislative framework, it should be stressed that the European deputies have a powerful moral authority and are likely to draw the attention of the media. They have a great freedom of action, are subject to no State or social order. Moreover, the deputies go on mission in the whole world. Do not hesitate to invite them in your community so that they can see the situation on the ground for themselves.
When a little political pressure is necessary to take action, the deputies are particularly decisive actors.
The European commission is the executive body of the EU. It proposes legislation and implements the Union's policies and budget.
The Commission is made up of 28 commissioners (one for each country of the EU) including the president and the vice-presidents. They lead the Commission, each one in a specific field.
The Commission is divided into several "directorate-generals" (DGs) and services. The officials of DGs have a mandate that is either thematic or geographical. Here is a summary of the information. Such information is useful when you identify the relevant actors for your issue. Keep in mind that the DGs have an internal and/or external competence to the European Union (EU).
The Council of the EU play an important role since it negotiates and adopts the legislative acts with the European Parliament and coordinates the policies of the Member States, in particular in the economic, cultural, and social domains. It is in charge of EU foreign policy that it defines and implements and it also concludes the international agreements.
The Council of the EU is directly related to the Member States and gathers the ministers and members of the European governments. Its political support is decisive.
In the process, give priority to one or two Member States likely to be interested in your requests. These States will be able to encourage the Council of the EU to take into account your requests or, more modestly, not to block your actions.
The European External Action Service (EEAS) works in close cooperation with the Council of the EU. Therefore, to inform it of your problems will allow to take them up to the level of the Council.
The European External Action Service (EEAS) is an institutional body of the EU, placed under the authority of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The EEAS could be seen as a European diplomatic service.
In Brussels, the EEAS is composed by civil servants in charge of specific themes and geographical specialists. Besides, one of its units is exclusively devoted to the protection of human rights.
Abroad, the EEAS operates 139 delegations and offices worldwide, through which pass the European actions on the ground. The mission of a Head of Delegation is comparable to that of an ambassador.
If you come from a third country of the EU, these delegations will be key interlocutors for you. First of all, the delegations are responsible for relaying to the EU local information and in particular human rights violations. You should know that the delegation members are required to receive the members of the civil society to hear their requests. Therefore, before approaching other bodies of the Union, do not hesitate to come into contact with the delegation located in your country.
Moreover, the Head of Delegation plays a political role as he negotiates directly in the name of the EU with the countries or international institutions of his area.
From a more practical point of view, the EU delegations, located in all the geographical areas of the world, will undoubtedly be for you easier to access than the institutions in Brussels.
According to your situation, some other bodies may turn out to be very helpful. For example, the intervention of the European Court of Auditors on the budgetary problems; the action of the European Economic and Social Committee regarding conflicts between employers and employees; the seisine of the Court of Justice of the EU to punish violations and deficiencies of the European institutions and Member States; the requests of the European Ombudsman can be decisive to the successful outcome of your action.