The Institutions of the European Union
4- The Commission
The Commission is one of the most important organs of the EU institutions. It has for main tasks
The Commission initiates proposals for new European Union legislation, and presents them to the European Parliament and Council. The legislative initiatives must be centered on the interests of the Union and its citizens, not of the Member States.
Before the Commission’s proposals are submitted, it must consult and seek opinions of the Economic and Social Committee, which is made up of representatives of employers and trade unions, and the Committee of the Regions, made up of representatives of local and regional authorities. It also seeks the opinions of Member States’ institutions such as parliaments and other branches of national organs.
The Commission suggests proposals at the EU level only if it believes there is no other solution on national levels.
The Commission manages and implements the budget of the European Union and make sure that the policies and programs adopted by the Parliament and the Council are implemented. It has the power to enact legislation derived from the Treaties or EU legislation. All of these are subject to judicial review by the European Judiciary.
The role of the Commission involves supervision and monitor of transport, justice, freedom and security, audit and anti-fraud, cartel, enterprise and industry, international relations and communications strategy, economic and monetary affairs, fisheries and maritime. Environment, external relation, education, culture, agriculture and rural development, financial programs and budget, taxation and customs Union, completion, health and consumer protection, internal market and services, trade, development and humanitarian aid, energy, science and research, information and media, enlargemt, employment, social affairs and equal opportunity.
The role of the Commission is to be “guardian of the Treaties”, and this implies that it is responsible for seeing EU law is properly applied in the Union. It has the power and the authority to start a legal proceeding against any Member State before the European Court of Justice, for violations of European Union law. The decision of the EU Court of Justice is binding.
4- External Affairs
In matters related to the European Union’s external affairs, the Commission negotiates with foreign governments and not Member States.
The Composition of the Commission
The number of members of the Commission stands now at twenty-five, one commissioner per Member State. They don not, however, represent their states, they are supposed to be acting on the general interest of the European Union as a whole.
The European Council chooses the President of the Commission for a term of five years. The list of the Commissioners is presented to the European Parliament for confirmation hearings, followed by voting to approve or reject the candidates. Once approved by the Parliament, the candidates serve for a term of five years.
Copyright 2005, Gabriel Sawma. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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