Home > Years 11-12 > Who Decides What

Who Decides What?

Do you know the difference between an MLA, Councillor, a MP and MEP?

After the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement of 1998, the UK Parliament gave the Northern Ireland Assembly powers to make Laws about local matters, called Transferred Matters. We elect MLAs to the Assembly. The Assembly then appoints a number of MLAs to be Ministers in charge of Government Departments.

However, MLAs are not our only Elected Representatives. We also elect:

  • MPs to go to the UK Parliament;
  • MEPs to go the European Parliament; and
  • Councillors to Represent us in City and District Councils/Local Councils in Northern Ireland.

The UK Parliament and UK Government in London make decisions that have a UK-wide or international impact. We call these issues Excepted Matters or Reserved Matters.

The European Parliament makes laws affecting all the countries in the European Union.

Local councils/City and District Councils deliver services at city or district level. They do not make laws.

So, there are MLAs, MPs, MEPs and Councillors. They are all elected to make decisions that affect your life. The question is: who decides what?

Play the game to find out.