The European Commission is the EU’s politically independent executive arm. It is alone responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation, and it implements the decisions of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. It also allocates EU funding and represents EU internationally.
Political leadership is provided by a team of 28 Commissioners (one from each EU country) – led by the Commission President, who decides who is responsible for which policy area.
The President defines the policy direction for the Commission, which enables the Commissioners together to decide strategic objectives, and produce the annual work programme. Decisions are taken based on collective responsibility. All Commissioners are equal in the decision-making process and equally accountable for these decisions. They do not have any individual decision-making powers, except when authorized in certain situations.
The day-to-day running of Commission business is performed by its staff, organised into departments known as Directorates-General (DGs), each responsible for a specific policy area.
For more information on the European Union and its bodies please visit www.europa.eu.