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The European Commission (EC): an overview
The European Commission (EC) is the European Union‘s (EU) politically independent executive arm. The EC is also the main executive body of the EU. With over 32,000 employees, the Commission conducts key tasks that are imperative to the success of the EU.
The European Commission is made up of one member from each of the 27 member states in the European Union. There are 27 commissioners (1 per member state of the EU), who negotiate important decisions concerning the future of the EU, as well as issues pertaining to their specific countries.
The European Commission is elected every 5 years and it reports directly to the European Parliament. With the backing of 27 countries, it is one of the most powerful political institutions in the world.
History of the European Commission
Following World War I and II, the European Union was set up. Shortly after, the European Commission was established in 1958. It then established the financial and political infrastructure for stability and growth throughout Europe.
Since its establishment, the European Commission helped the EU and member countries navigate crises including the global financial crash, defence initiatives and recently COVID-19. Since it is not tied to a specific country, it can take a long-term approach to maximise the interest of its member countries. Today, the EC leverages its executive and legislative powers to position the EU as an economic and political superpower on the global stage.
Executive powers: The Commission has a monopoly on executive powers, specifically those concerning competition and external trade. With the backing of the EU, it n yields some of the most powerful executive decision-making tools in the world – including influencing EU strategy and managing the EU budget. The ruling of the EC is final and they have the ability to enforce any of their rulings with all the resources available to the EU.
Legislative powers: The European Commission also has a monopoly on legislative powers. This allows the Commission to craft laws, enforce laws and make any rulings on any case. The major cases and laws are discussed by the Commissioners that make up the European Commission. Once a decision is finalised, it is law within the EU.
Who must comply?
Member states play a unique role when it comes to compliance. The member states in the EU are there voluntarily and the Commission can only act on areas where they are given approval from the member states. Once the member states give the Commission approval to govern over a certain aspect, they must comply with the Commission. The member states opt-in to the EU, but once they do they have to follow the executive guidance of the European Commission.
The European Commission also makes rules that govern business practices and what is/isn’t illegal. Many international companies have had long legal and financial difficulties with the European Commission, with fines issued to companies including Google and Facebook billions of dollars recently.
CUBE captures and classifies the whole world of regulatory data and makes sense of it for your business – from the European Commission to ESMA and everything in between.