What is the European Commission?
The European Commission is effectively the EU’s civil service, although it is led by political figures. The head of the Commission is the president, currently Ursula von der Leyen, and its political leadership is made up of the College of Commissioners (one from each member state), each of whom leads the Commission’s work in a specific policy area. The Commission has a staff of 32,000 officials, which is similar in size to the UK Home Office. The Commission is the only EU institution that can bring forward proposals for EU laws. Proposals are then debated, amended, rejected or agreed jointly by EU governments in the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. The Commission also oversees the implementation and enforcement of EU laws and rules by governments, businesses and other actors. It manages the EU budget, takes decisions on competition policy and negotiates trade agreements on behalf of the EU.
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