The European Union is a community of 27 European nations, united around common political, economic, cultural and social values.

How does the European Union work?

To promote the common interests of the Union and European citizens, the European Union is organized in a separate institutional framework consisting of 7 European institutions, 7 EU bodies and over 30 decentralized agencies. Each of these institutions has distinct roles and contributes to shaping European strategies and policies, drafting European legislation, or carrying out activities in specialized fields.

Four of these institutions provide the Union with political guidelines and collaborate to draft EU legislation, having a decision-making role. These institutions are:

  • European Parliament (Brussels/Strasbourg/Luxembourg)
  • European Council (Brussels)
  • Council of the European Union (Brussels/Luxembourg)
  • European Commission (Brussels/Luxembourg/Representations throughout the EU)

What is the European Commission?

The European Commission was established in 1958 and is the main executive body of the Union. It defends the general interest of the EU, proposes legislation, ensures compliance and implements the Union’s policies and budget.

The commission is made up of one commissioner from each country of the Union and is coordinated by a president. The President of the Commission is the one who decides on the political field assigned to each commissioner. The functioning of the Commission is also ensured by its staff assigned to departments called general directorates.

It is the Commissioners who set the strategic objectives and the annual work program. In the decision-making process all commissioners are equal and equally responsible for these decisions.

What is the Commission’s role?

  • Proposes new legislative acts to the Parliament and the Council based on the right of initiative
  • Guarantees compliance with EU legislation by member countries
  • Represents the EU on the international stage
  • Manages the EU budget and allocates funds
  • Shapes the EU’s global strategy and manages EU policies

What are some of the EU policies implemented by the Commission?

One of the most important areas considered by the Commission is climate change. Thus, the European Ecological Pact (EEP), published by the European Commission on December 11, 2019, establishes, among other things, the guidelines for environmental protection policies for the next period. The most important objective of this Pact is to transform Europe into the first climate-neutral continent.

In addition to this pact, also with a view to protecting the environment, the European Commission has already developed a series of documents whose objectives include: recycling and re-inclusion of resources in the economy, providing an example for a solid management of chemical substances at a global level, reducing vulnerability against climate change, biodiversity protection.

The European Commission is also the one that provides financial support to Member States through the EU’s cohesion policy. Romania also benefits from funding through a partnership agreement with the European Commission for areas such as infrastructure, especially in the field of transport.

Other policies implemented by the Commission target areas such as the EU budget, agriculture, the digital market or energy security.

Given its many powers, the European Commission is a key institution of the Union, contributing to the maintenance of European values and the development of the European Union as a whole.

Tudorache Iulia – Ioana

Legal Intern R&R Partners Bucharest

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