The European Commission: Promoting the common interest


The European Commission represents and upholds the interests of Europe as a whole. It is independent of national governments.

It drafts proposals for new European laws, which it presents to the European Parliament and the Council. It manages the day-to-day business of implementing EU policies and spending EU funds. The Commission also keeps an eye out to see that everyone abides by the European treaties and laws. It can act against rule-breakers, taking them to the Court of Justice if necessary.

The Commission consists of 25 women and men — one from each EU country. They are assisted by about 24 000 civil servants, most of whom work in Brussels.

The President of the Commission is chosen by EU governments and endorsed by the European Parliament. The other commissioners are nominated by their national governments in consultation with the in-coming President, and must be approved by the Parliament. They do not represent the governments of their home countries. Instead, each of them has responsibility for a particular EU policy area.

The President and members of the Commission are appointed for a period of five years, coinciding with the period for which the European Parliament is elected.

European Union
The European Commission
The European Investment Bank
Council of Europe
Origins and membership
Political aims
How it works
Ordinary budget
Some practical achievements
The pan-European dimension