Skip to main content
José Manuel Barroso President of the EU Commission
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship
Joaquín Almunia Vice-President
Industry and Entrepreneurship
Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration
Economic and Monetary Affairs
Internal Market and Services
Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth
Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud
Health and Consumer Policy
Research, Innovation and Science
Budget and Financial Programming
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy
Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response
Agriculture and Rural Development
The Commission is the only executive body within the EU organisation. Its president is nominated by the member states subject to the approval of the European Parliament. The member states then subsequently nominate the other members of the Commission who are also subject to approval by the European Parliament.
The Commission is made up of 27 Commissioners, one from each EU member state. Commissioners are not tasked with representing their own country's interests but with proposing legislation for a policy area such as transport or energy.
The Commission operates on the principle of collective responsibility. If the European Parliament refuses to accept a nomination or chooses to sack a Commissioner, then the entire Commission has to go.
The Maastricht Treaty states that each Commission remains in place for a term of five years. This term can be renewed by the European Parliament.
According to the constitution of the Commission, the President allocates policy areas between the members of the Commission.
The Commission is central to the activities of the EU because it is the only body that can propose legislation. The Commission's proposals are then debated by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, which are the two decision-making bodies. Barring exceptional circumstances, decisions are taken by majority vote.
In producing proposed legislation, the Commission generally takes Member States' views into account. For more contentious proposals, the Commission can consult Member States' governments before continuing with a proposed directive, but may go ahead with a proposal whatever the result of this consultation.
As for foreign policy, the Commission is responsible for negotiating international agreements, which are then submitted to the Council for approval.
More from us on Twitter:
follow us: twitter.com/euronews
follow our Haiti list: twitter.com/euronews
follow our permanent correspondent in Brussels Sergio Cantone: http://twitter.com/sercanto
follow our euronewsSpecial : twitter.com/euronewsSpecial
follow our reporter J.M. Sardo: twitter.com/jmsardo
follow our reporter Kirsten Ripper: twitter.com/kirsteneuronews
React on Facebook:
on our fanpage facebook.com/euronews.fans