The European Commission consists (since 1 Jan. 2007) of 27 members, of which 25 were appointed by the member states in 2004 to serve for five years. The Bulgarian and Romanian commissioners became members on 1 Jan. 2007. The Commission President is selected by a consensus of member state heads of government and serves a five-year term. The Commission acts as the EU executive body and as guardian of the Treaties. In this it has the right of initiative (putting proposals to the Council of Ministers for action) and of execution (once the Council has decided). It can take the other institutions or individual countries before the European Court of Justice should any of these fail to comply with European Law. Decisions on legislative proposals made by the Commission are taken in the Council of the European Union. Members of the Commission swear an oath of independence, distancing themselves from partisan influence from any source. The Commission operates through 37 Directorates-General and services.
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