EUR-Lex Access to European Union law
This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
The European Commission is the executive branch of the European Union (EU).
Established in 1957, the Commission is currently composed of 27 Commissioners, including its President. It acts in the EU’s general interest with complete independence from EU Member States’ national governments and is accountable to the European Parliament.
It has the right of initiative to propose laws in a wide range of policy areas. In the area of justice and home affairs, it shares the right of initiative with Member States. The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union may request the Commission to table legislative proposals. EU citizens may also call on the Commission to propose laws by means of the European Citizens’ Initiative.
The Commission may be given the right to adopt non-legislative acts, in particular delegated and implementing acts, and has important powers to ensure fair conditions of competition between EU businesses.
The Commission oversees the application of EU law. It implements the EU’s budget in cooperation with the Member States and manages funding programmes. It also exercises coordinating, executive and management functions, as laid down in the Treaties. It represents the EU during international negotiations, in particular in areas of trade policy and humanitarian aid.
The Commission is organised into policy departments, called Directorates-General (DGs), and services, which are mainly located in Brussels and Luxembourg.