Sunday, July 12, 2020

The European Commission

The European Commission, the EC, is the executive branch of the European Union.  The EC sits in Brussels and it is responsible for the day-to-day running of the EU.  The EC initiates new legislation as it alone has the power to propose laws for debate.  Another responsibility of the EC is to maintain that treaties are running efficiently and to police them.  Basically, the EC acts as the cabinet government for the EU.  The working languages of the EC are English, French, and German.

The commissioners are to think European as each must pledge to be independent of their home countries while acting in the general interest of the EU and not be subservient to their home countries.  There are 27 commissioners, one from each of the EU member countries.  It was 28 until the UK left the EU following Brexit.  

The path to become a commissioner seems kind of complicated.  Candidates are proposed by the Council of the European Union, based on suggestions coming from the various national governments.  Once approved by the European Parliament then they are appointed by the European Council, which isn't the same thing as the Council of the European Union. 

Here's a five minute video I found on YouTube that explains the how the European Commission works.


In December 2019, Ursula von der Leyen became the first woman to hold the presidency of the EC.  She used to be the German Defence Minister and her term is for five years.  Here's a bit about her.

                                   ©France 24

The Czech member of the European Commission is Věra Jourová.  

She is one of seven vice-presidents and she is responsible for Values and Transparency.

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