Commission of the European Union


Also found in: Acronyms.

Commission of the European Union

those appointed, one from each EU country, to act as the executive of the European Union.

By extension the term may apply to the staff who support the Commission. Members of the Commission (Commissioners) are apolitical appointees obliged to work in the interests of the EU and not the appointing state. A new Commission, which is based in Brussels, is appointed every five years. The Commission remains politically accountable to Parliament, which has the power to dismiss the whole Commission - a power which was in fact exercised in 1994. It proposes legislation to Parliament and the Council, manages EU policies and the budget, enforces European law and represents Europe abroad. The Commission President allocates responsibilities to the Commissioners. The Commission's staff is organized in departments, known as Directorates-General (DGs), being headed by a Director-General and services. There are proposals contained in the proposed new Constitution to limit membership, after 2014, of the Commission to two-thirds of member states determined by a rotation system based on the principle of equality. See also COUNCIL OF EUROPE.

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