EU Institutions

  • Nick Heath-Brown
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. 2015 there were also six executive agencies set up for fixed periods to manage EU programmes. They were: the Consumers, Health and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA); the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA); the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERC Executive Agency); the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME); the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA); and the Research Executive Agency (REA).


Member State Euro Area European Central Bank European Council Executive Agency 
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© The Editor(s) 2015

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  • Nick Heath-Brown

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