• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The European Commission

Extracts from this document...


The European Commission The European Commission operates at the heart of the Union. It is the main source of policy initiatives, and it has transformed the framework of the EU set up by the treaties, into what it is today. Thanks to the commission, the citizens of Europe have seen many benefits, generally in better living standards. The commission is made up of 20 commissioners, each one with a different job, and elected by parliament. The President, Italian, Romano Prodi has 2 vice presidents, British - Neil Kinnock and Spanish Loyola De Palacio. However, the commission has not done any of what it's done on it's own, it works very close to the other institutions, and to the governments of the 15 member states. The commission regularly drafts new legislation, it carries out lots of research prior to doing this, it speaks to people form all walks of life, including trade unions, governments and other interested parties. IT attempts only to find things which benefit all people, no matter where they are from. As part of the commisson's role within the EU, it must act as the guardian of the treaties, and if anyone breaks them, it can threaten of actually take legal action in the European Court of Justice. The commission must also manage policies, and negotiate international trade or cooperation agreements. ...read more.


Parliament also has a 'committee of budgetary control' which monitors the use of public funds by the commission. Each year, the parliament grants the commission a 'discharge' on the implementation of the previous year's budget, though in 1996, this didn't happen because of mismanagement and a lack of transparency. * Power of Democratic Supervision. Parliament exercises the power of democratic supervision by supervising all of the other bodies set-up within the union. It has the power to set-up committees of inquiry, as it did with the BSE case. The power of democratic supervision also means that on a daily basis, the parliament also studies monthly and annual reports which the commission must give to them. This just goes to show how much power the parliament has over the commission. Each year, parliament also exercises it's power by asking the commission about 5,000 questions, either in writing, or verbally. The commission is elected by the parliament. The parliament listens and accepts all of the applications for people to become commissioners, and then listens to all of their cases individually before decided which 20 they wish to make commissioners, by a vote of confidence. The European parliament can also prove it's power over the commission by starting a motion of censure, which would inevitably result in the commission resigning. ...read more.


The Council of Ministers is the supreme decision making body of the E.U. and, as such has the final say in deciding upon E.U. legislation. Although the Council of Ministers does act on recommendations from the commission, it has got the power to instruct the commission to undertake particular investigations and to submit detailed proposals for it's consideration. Council decisions are made by a mixture of voting procedures. Some measures, for instance, only require a simple majority; in others; a procedure of qualified majority is used; and then there are those in which unanimity is required. In the Council of Ministers, different countries have different numbers of votes, depending on the size of their population. Some of the larger countries have 10 out of a total of 87 votes, and the smallest countries / member states may have as low as 2 votes. A qualified majority is where a minimum of 62 votes in favour is required. The effect of this compromise is a matter of some doubt, especially as the commission would subsequently call for a vote on the new basis as son as it felt that a reasonable time had elapsed. The European Council and the Council of the European Commission are identical, as they had simply changed their name to the latter. However, they differ greatly from the Council of Ministers. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level European Union section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level European Union essays

  1. The European Commission - transforming the framework of the EU set up by the ...

    Parliament also heavily overlooks the commission. One note, however, that must be made about the European Commission, is that all 20 commissioners must swear on oath that their actions will be fair to all countries in the EU, and not just to their own.

  2. The Institution of the European Union and Theories.

    This makes it harder to operate annualised hours arrangements. Firms must consider this as employees can only work set number of hours and firms making their employees work longer can be fined. This can have an impact on the firms reputation and effect trading tomes as staff working hours need to be considered.


    This Malthus argued encouraged large families as the bigger the family the more relief would be provided. Malthus felt that if nothing would be done there would be a population explosion. Bentham felt that workhouses should be introduced to house the poor however conditions should be harsher inside than outside so that only the absolute destitute would apply for relief.

  2. E-Business Report: Suicide Girls

    Porn has gradually become more mainstream from the late 90's onwards, yet with the recent American election hinging upon a return to "family values", many in the industry are worried that they could be prosecuted for their work. Even before Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction", as early as George Bush's 2001

  1. How important is the European Parliament?

    say their ability only to threaten to dismiss the Commission is not especially important; threats which embarrass the Commission would rule out the need to carry through these threats, as was clear with Buttiglione. Others would say that the ability to threaten the Commission with such disgrace is just as

  2. What does citizenship mean in the European context?

    to the duties and rights of a civic society covering discrete areas of public life, a commitment to membership in a polity which privileges exactly the opposites of nationalism -- those human features which transcend the differences of organic ethno-culturalism.

  1. The European Community and ECJ

    Both the Dutch and the Belgian governments intervened in the case holding that the ECJ had no right to decide whether EU law prevailed over national law once there was just a matter of Dutch constitutional law. The ECJ returned a judgement rejecting the argument and stated that can give

  2. Effectiveness and Democratic Legitimacy: An Investigation of the European Democratic Deficit

    the multiple voices that want to express themselves at the European level would be a task almost impossible to achieve. Although there are two versions of the "no demos" thesis, a "soft" version arguing that a European demos could one day emerge and a "hard" one opposing this claim and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work