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Summaries of EU Legislation

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The European Commission

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The European Commission

 

SUMMARY OF:

Article 17 Treaty on European Union

Article 18 Treaty on European Union

Article 244 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) - — role, composition, powers and functioning of the European Commission

Article 245 TFEU — role, composition, powers and functioning of the European Commission

Article 246 TFEU — role, composition, powers and functioning of the European Commission

Article 247 TFEU — role, composition, powers and functioning of the European Commission

Article 248 TFEU — role, composition, powers and functioning of the European Commission

Article 249 TFEU — role, composition, powers and functioning of the European Commission

Article 250 TFEU — role, composition, powers and functioning of the European Commission

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THESE TREATY ARTICLES?

They set out the role, composition, powers, appointment procedures and functioning of the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch.

KEY POINTS

Role

1. Proposes new laws — the Commission is the sole EU institution that formally presents laws for adoption by the European Parliament and the Council.

2. Manages EU policies and allocate EU funding — the Commission sets spending priorities along with the Council and the Parliament, and draws up and executes the annual budget.

3. Enforces EU law — together with the Court of Justice of the EU, the Commission ensures that EU law is applied properly in all EU countries.

4. Represents the EU internationally — speaks on behalf of all EU countries in international bodies (such as the World Trade Organisation — WTO).

Composition

  • The Commission is led politically by a team of 28 Commissioners. The College of Commissioners includes one Commissioner from each EU country and includes:
  • The Commission’s work is organised into departments known as directorates-general (DGs), each responsible for a specific policy area.

The president

  • The European Council puts forward a candidate for president, taking into account the results of the European Parliament elections. The candidate must have the support of the majority of European Parliament members to be elected. He/she is responsible for:
    • establishing the political guidelines for the College of Commissioners;
    • deciding upon the Commission’s internal organisation and delegating responsibility for particular policy areas to the individual Commissioners — these tasks may be reallocated throughout his/her time in office;
    • appointing vice-presidents from amongst Members of the Commission , with the exception of the HR/VP .
  • He/she may also ask a Commissioner to leave his/her post without the College’s approval.

Appointment

  • By common agreement with the elected president, the Commission adopts the list of persons which it proposes to appoint as Members of the Commission, with the exception of the HR/VP.
  • The HR/VP is appointed by the European Council, in agreement with the President of the Commission.
  • The Members of the Commission are chosen for their general competence and their independence.
  • The entire College is approved by a European parliamentary vote.

Summary table

Treaty on European Union

17

Role and composition of the Commission; appointment and powers of the President of the Commission

Treaty on European Union

18

Appointment and powers of the HR/VP

Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250

Functioning of the Commission

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union — Title III — Provisions on the institutions — Articles 17 and 18 (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, pp. 25-27)

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Part Six — Institutional and financial provisions — Title I — Institutional provisions — Chapter 1 — The institutions — Section 4 — The Commission — Articles 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249 and 250 (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, pp. 155-157)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

European Council Decision 2013/272/EU of 22 May 2013 concerning the number of members of the European Commission (OJ L 165, 18.6.2013, p. 98)

last update 21.11.2017

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