EU Institutions

European Commission
  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


The European Commission consists of 28 members. 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 44 Directorates-General and services. As of Feb. 2014 there were also six executive agencies set up for fixed periods to manage EU programmes. They were: the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA); the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERC Executive Agency); the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI); the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC); the Research Executive Agency (REA); and the Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency (TEN-T EA).


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

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