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European Commission: Protecting shared interests

Avrupa Komisyonu: Ortak çıkarları korumak


Function:     The executive branch of the EU and the starting point of legislative proposals
Members:     27: One from each member state (18 members as of 2014 under the Treaty of Lisbon)
Term:  Five years (2010-2014)
Address:     Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 200 B-1049 Brussels
 Tel:  (32-2) 299 1111
Website:     http://ec.europa.eu


The European Commission (EC) is a politically independent institution. Its mission is to represents and upholds the interests of the EU as a whole.It proposes laws submits them to the Council and the Parliament. In addition, the commission is the executive branch of the EU; that is, it is responsible for the implementation of the decisions by the Council and the Parliament. This implies managing routine operations such as the implementation of policies, execution of programs, and spending of funds.

Like the Parliament and the Council, the Commission was established in the 1950s with the founding treaties of the European Economic Community (EEC), later renamed to the EU.

What is the Commission?

The term “Commission” is used in two meanings. First, it denotes a team of men and women (one member from each EU country) that ensures the functioning of the institution and takes decisions. Second, the term “Commission” denotes the organization itself and its employees. Commission Members are informally known as “Commissioners.”Commission Members undertake to work in order to uphold the common interests of the EU and do not receive instructions from their respective governments.A new commission is appointed every five years, six months after the Parliament elections. 

The current Commissions' term of office is between 2014 and 2019. Its president is Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg.

The Commission is politically responsible to the Parliament. The Commission participates in all parliamentary meetings to explain and defend its policies. Moreover, it addresses the queries posed by the members of the Parliament in verbal or written form. The routine work of the Commission is executed by administrative officers, experts, interpreters, and secretariat staff.

Where was the Commission founded?

The Commission is based in Brussels, Belgium. However, it also has offices in Luxembourg, representatives in all EU countries, and delegations in several capitals of the world.

What does the Commission do?

The European Commission performs four main tasks as follows:

  • It drafts legislation and submits them to the Parliament and the Council;
  • As the EU’s executive branch, it is obliged to implement the acquis (directives, regulations, and decisions) and the budget and programs prepared by the Parliament and the Council;
  • It is the protector of Community treaties and, along with the Court of Justice, ensures the correct application of Community law;
  • It represents the EU on the international platform and in the negotiations of international treaties, especially in the areas of trade and cooperation.

Equipped with an executive function, the commission makes proposals in areas like transport, social policies, environment, agriculture, energy, regional development, and trade relations, as specified in the treaties. Based on the subsidiarity principle, the Commission is obliged to protect the interests of the EU and its citizens in general, not of a particular country, region, or industry.

Besides, the Commission has approximately 16,000 administrative staff operating mainly in Brussels at the Secretariat-General of the European Commission, the Legal Service, the Eurostat Statistical Service, and the like. There are also Director Generals who deal with diverse issues. Each Director General reports to a Commissioner.

The Commission, chaired by Ursula von der Leyen, comprises the following members. 

Current Commissioners: (2019-2024)