European Commission - Powers and Functions

Powers and Functions

The Commission was set up from the start to act as an independent supranational authority separate from governments; it has been described as "the only body paid to think European". The members are proposed by their member state governments, one from each, however they are bound to act independently – neutral from other influences such as those governments which appointed them. This is in contrast to the Council, which represents governments, the Parliament, which represents citizens, and the Economic and Social Committee, which represents organised civil society.

Through the article 17 of the Treaty on European Union the Commission has several responsibilities: develop medium-term strategies; draft legislation and arbitrate in the legislative process; represent the EU in trade negotiations; make rules and regulations, for example in competition policy; draw up the budget of the European Union; and to scrutinise the implementation of the treaties and legislation.

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