European Commission


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Related to European Commission: European Parliament, European Council, European Union

European Commission

(EC), institution of the European UnionEuropean Union
(EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the European Community (EC), an economic and political confederation of European nations, and other organizations (with the same member nations)
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 (EU) invested with executive powers; it also is the main EU institution that initiates legislation. Located in Brussels, Belgium, it was founded in 1967 when the three treaty organizations comprising what was then the European Community were officially merged; previously, each organization was governed by a separate commission. The commission is composed of 27 members—one from each EU nation. Members are appointed by European Council and serve four-year terms; the commission membership must be approved by the European ParliamentEuropean Parliament,
an institution of the governing body of the European Union (EU). It convenes on a monthly basis in Strasbourg, France; most meetings of the separate parliamentary committees are held in Brussels, Belgium, and its Secretariat is located in Luxembourg.
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. One member serves as president and six serve as vice presidents. A large administrative staff, numbering some 25,000, is divided among many committees and administrative agencies. The commission implements the provisions of the EU's governing treaties and carries out legislation enacted by the Council of the European UnionCouncil of the European Union,
institution of the European Union (EU) that has the final vote on legislation proposed by the European Commission and approved by the European Parliament; in some cases the council, unlike the parliament, may initiate new laws.
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 and the European Parliament.

In keeping with the objective of the founding treaties, the commission initiates EU policy on the economy in particular but, increasingly, also on environmental and foreign and security affairs. The legislation it proposes is subject to amendment and approval by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. It was under the presidency of Jacques DelorsDelors, Jacques
(Jacques Lucien Jean Delors) 1925–, French economist and politician and European statesman, president (1985–95) of the European Commission. Beginning in the 1940s, he held a series of posts in French banking and state planning, eventually becoming
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 (1985–95) that the commission put forward the Single European Act (1987) and the Treaty of European Union (1992; also known as the Maastricht Treaty), both of which provided for a significant expansion of the EU's powers. In 1995, Jacques SanterSanter, Jacques
(Jean Jacques Santer) , 1937–, Luxembourg political leader and European statesman. A lawyer and economist, he entered politics as a member of the Christian Social People's party in 1965 and later held several ministerial posts, notably finance minister
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 of Belgium became president of the commission. The entire commission resigned in 1999 amid accusations of financial mismanagement, corruption, fraud, and nepotism, and a new set of commissioners, with Romano ProdiProdi, Romano
, 1939–, Italian politician, premier of Italy (1996–98, 2006–8), b. Scandiano. Educated at the Catholic Univ. of Milan (grad. 1961), he is a trained economist and served (1978–79) as Italy's minister for industry; he also was a professor of
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 of Italy as president, was appointed later the same year. In 2004, José Manuel BarrosoBarroso, José Manuel Durão
, 1956–, Portuguese politician, b. Lisbon. A leftist activist while in law school, he became a Social Democrat in 1980 and was first elected to the Portuguese parliament in 1985.
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 became president; Jean-Claude JunckerJuncker, Jean-Claude,
1954–, Luxembourg political leader. A member of the Christian Social People's party, he was first elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1984.
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 succeeded Barroso in 2014. Ursula von der Leyenvon der Leyen, Ursula,
1958–, German politician, b. Brussels, Belgium, as Ursula Albrecht. She studied economics and medicine, worked (1988–92) at Hanover Medical School's (MHH) gynecological clinic, lived in the United States (1992–96) while her husband, Heiko
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 became president in 2019.

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