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World Trade Organisation Director-General Pascal Lamy has hit back at EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso’s claim that France was being protectionist… 19/06/2013
Trade between the US and EU that could give each a boost of over 75 billion euros a year will be discussed in early July, but the audiovisual industry is off… 17/06/2013
The European Commission rebuked Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Monday for failing to meet EU demands to uphold the rule of law and urged him to speed… 04/02/2013
President Jose Manual Barroso, European Commission chief, has reached the half way stage of his second term of office. Along with Europe’s debt crisis… 06/07/2012
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The financial sector should play a bigger role in helping to resolve the Greek debt crisis, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said on… 21/06/2011
It is a crucial week for the EU and the euro. The Eurogroup decided to postpone their decision on how to avoid a disaster for Greece and the Eurozone. There… 20/06/2011
An extra 110 million euro donation for Chernobyl, to build a new containment structure… The promise from the European Union coincides with the opening this… 18/04/2011
This Wednesday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is live on euronews to answer your questions. Barroso has been fairly explicit about what… 18/09/2012
Steering Europe’s hardpressed economies out of dangerous waters will be the focus of the new EU commission after finally getting approval from the European… 10/02/2010
euronews asked a specialist in Europe-Turkey relations, Can Baydarol, for his reaction to the new European Commission. euronews: “Mister Baydarol, how is… 09/02/2010
The new European Commission has finally been given European Parliament clearance to begin work. Institutional infighting over political concessions and Lisbon… 09/02/2010
As the European Parliament welcomes in the new Commission team, outside the offices in Brussels of the outgoing Agriculture Commissioner Marianne… 09/02/2010
Barroso II has been given the green light. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have approved the lineup of the new European Commission. This clears… 09/02/2010
The euronews Brussels correspondent, Sergio Cantone, asked President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso about his priorities for his second term… 08/02/2010
Headquartered in the Berlaymont building in Brussels, the European Commission acts as an executive of the European Union, like a supranational independent… 07/02/2010
José Manuel Barroso, in his first five years in office as President of the European Commission, showed his power of political adaptability so often he was… 07/02/2010
Political expert Mario Telo, from the Institute for European Studies in Brussels, speaks to euronews about the European Commission-in-waiting. Sergio… 07/02/2010
To become a European Commissioner means sitting a test. The European Parliament has power of approval over the whole team, though individual rejections are… 07/02/2010
Her first priority would be Haiti. New European Commissioner-designate Kristalina Georgieva has come through a hearing at the European Parliament earning a… 03/02/2010
The Barroso II Commission must wait yet a little longer to see the light of day, after Bulgaria’s member designate in the European Union executive body threw… 19/01/2010
Denmark’s Connie Hedegaard, who struggled to chair the failed Copenhagen climate conference just a few weeks ago has said a lack of EU unity did not help. The… 15/01/2010
Veteran French politician Michel Barnier, slated for the European Commission’s EU internal market portfolio, has also had his three-hour hearing in the… 13/01/2010
The European Parliament’s Liberals, Socialists and Greens have shown themselves to be the most wary of Bulgaria’s nominee for commissioner, Rumiana… 12/01/2010
The European Parliament has begun confirmation hearings for the next European Commission. Britain’s Baroness Catherine Ashton was first to take the stand, to… 11/01/2010
José Manuel Barroso President of the EU Commission
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship
Joaquín Almunia Vice-President
Industry and Entrepreneurship
Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration
Economic and Monetary Affairs
Internal Market and Services
Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth
Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud
Health and Consumer Policy
Research, Innovation and Science
Budget and Financial Programming
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy
Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response
Agriculture and Rural Development
The Commission is the only executive body within the EU organisation. Its president is nominated by the member states subject to the approval of the European Parliament. The member states then subsequently nominate the other members of the Commission who are also subject to approval by the European Parliament.
The Commission is made up of 27 Commissioners, one from each EU member state. Commissioners are not tasked with representing their own country's interests but with proposing legislation for a policy area such as transport or energy.
The Commission operates on the principle of collective responsibility. If the European Parliament refuses to accept a nomination or chooses to sack a Commissioner, then the entire Commission has to go.
The Maastricht Treaty states that each Commission remains in place for a term of five years. This term can be renewed by the European Parliament.
According to the constitution of the Commission, the President allocates policy areas between the members of the Commission.
The Commission is central to the activities of the EU because it is the only body that can propose legislation. The Commission's proposals are then debated by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, which are the two decision-making bodies. Barring exceptional circumstances, decisions are taken by majority vote.
In producing proposed legislation, the Commission generally takes Member States' views into account. For more contentious proposals, the Commission can consult Member States' governments before continuing with a proposed directive, but may go ahead with a proposal whatever the result of this consultation.
As for foreign policy, the Commission is responsible for negotiating international agreements, which are then submitted to the Council for approval.
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