The European commission is, with the the European Parliament and the Conseil of the European Union, one of the three principal Institution S of the European Union. Instituted by the Merger Treaty (1967), it is made up of 27 police chiefs since adhesion on January 1st 2007 of Bulgaria and Romania. Its current president is the Portuguese Jose Manuel Barroso since the November 22nd 2004.
Its principal function is to propose and implement the Community policies. “Guardian of the treaties”, it takes care of their application. Enjoying the monopoly of the Right to take initiatives on the First pillar of the European Union, it plays a central role of guarantor of the general interest. If the role of the Commission has similarities with that of the national governments, it is characterized some however by many aspects.
The Commission acts independently of the Gouvernement S of the États-membres, but is responsible in front of the the European Parliament which can censure it. Its mandate is five years. The police chiefs are assisted by an administration which is by its manpower (24 000 people approximately in 2004) most important of the European Union. Its seat is located at Brussels in the building of the Berlaymont.
Competence S of the CommissionThe Commission sees itself entrusting by article 211 of the the Treaty of Rome three main roles:
- a role of guardian of the treaties,
- a role of proposal,
- as well as a role of execution.
Moreover, the commission is equipped with several others Compétence S, with the row of which the negotiation of the agreements of trade and association with the Nonmember states, the establishment of the preliminary draft budget and the management of the Community funds.
Commission, guardian of the treatiesThe Commission, specifies article 211 TCE, “takes care of the application of the provisions treated as well as provisions taken by the institutions under the terms of”. The commission is qualified one to the only be guardian of the Community legislation because it is an independent institution. It with this intention has several means of action. First of all, it with faculty to make recommendations or opinions, which enables him to draw the attention of the Member States to possible insufficiencies or infringements. It can then engage of the actions in front of the Court of justice of the European Communities against a State which would have failed to fulfil its obligations (articles 226 and 228 TCE). It controls finally the application of derogatory measurements to the treaties (one speaks about safeguard clauses).
The Commission, forces proposal and engine of integration
See also: Right to take initiatives
The Commission was thought at the origin of Community construction like the engine of integration. One indeed wished to equip the European project with a Institution which is guarantor of the general interest and which by its proposals can support the adoption of advanced which would have been more difficult within the framework of strictly intergovernmental institutions. The existence of the commission is thus one of the most remarkable singularities of the European Institutions.
The Commission has a monopoly of the Right to take initiatives in the first Pilier of the European Union which enables him to weigh in the formation of the acts of the Council of the Union and the Parlement. Article 250 TCE still increases the importance of this role: it stipulates that the Council of the Union “can take a note constituting amendment of the proposal only unanimously taking a decision”. The Council of the Union can thus deviate from the Commission proposal only unanimously, which sometimes confers on the Commission a role of conciliation between Member States.
The monopoly of the Right to take initiatives of the commission knows limits. The Parliament and the Conseil of the Union can require of the Commission which she legislates in a field. Moreover, within the framework of the second and the third pillars, the commission divides the Right to take initiatives with the Member States.
Commission, executive bodyCompetences of execution of the Commission do not belong to him into clean: they are conferred to him by the Conseil of the Union. This delegation is the rule since the Single act (amendment in article 145 TCE, current article 202): the Council of the Union can exert its competences of execution only in “specific cases”. The commission has also a role of negotiator of the agreements of trade with the world. More than 100 countries in the world concluded from the agreements with the Union including the countries in the process of development from Africa, of the Caribbean, the Pacific as those of the ex Soviet Union which receive an important technical assistance.
This Compétence of execution comprises important prerogatives, in particular in the field of the common Agricultural policy, like in that of the Politique of competition, where it returns to him to authorize the concentrations and to sanction the Dominant position abuse and the agreements.
Composition of the European commissionThe 27 police chiefs, selected “because of their very guaranteed general competence by offering independence” (article 213-1 TCE) and named for five years, form an interdependent college.
Composition of the CommissionFollowing the institutional reforms of the treaties of Amsterdam and Nice, the designation procedure of the members of the college of the Commission begin with designation by the Council, in the majority qualified, of one candidate to the presidency. The European Parliament approves then this nomination, in the majority simple. Thus, Jose Manuel Durão Barroso was indicated by the Council in June 2004, before obtaining a positive vote of the Parliament on July 22nd.
Then, the Council adopts in the majority qualified and by mutual agreement with the president indicated a list of candidates for the posts of police chief (not more one by Member State). Lastly, the president and the Members of the Commission are named by the Council ruling in the majority qualified, after approval of the College by the Parliament. It is with this stage that the college presented by Barroso on August 12th, 2004 met resistances on several points: Barroso preferred to operate a rehandling before the vote, which finally took place on November 18th (449 for, 149 against and 82 abstentions).
The president of the Commission can, with the approval of the college, to require the resignation of a police chief. In addition, the Parliament can adopt in the majority of two thirds of the votes cast and in the majority of its members a motion of censure of the college. It is to avoid the vote of a motion of censure that the Commission Santer resigned collectively in the night from March 15th to 16th 1999.
List presidents of the Commission
- See List of the presidents of the European commission
Decision-making processLet us point out the two methods in force in the European Union:
- in the Community Method, which applies to the first pillar, the European commission has the monopoly of the Right to take initiatives; it is upstream Procédure of joint decision;
- in the intergovernmental Method, which applies to the second and third pillars, the Commission divides the Right to take initiatives with the Member States.
The Commission is assisted in its work by a General secretary like 40 head offices (D.G.) and dedicated services. D.G. largely consult different the Lobbys as well as the administration S main roads in order to produce proposals. Thus, the proposals which emanate directly from the only reflection of D.G. are the exception rather than the rule.
Right from the start, the representatives of the administration S main roads and regional, the Lobbys and the Lobbie S were invited to sit within advisory committees: the negotiations which proceed there give place to the publication of green Books and White papers ( to see will infra ) proposing tracks for Community actions. The proposals of the head offices (DG) and the others Décision S are endorsed collectively by the Commission ruling in the majority of its members.
The meetings of the college of the Police chiefs are prepared by meetings of their members of cabinet (meetings known as " special chefs"), then by meetings of their principal private secretaries (meetings known as “Hebdo”). The points has are adopted without discussion by the college of the Police chiefs, the points B are those which could not be the subject of an agreement on the level of the members or principal private secretaries.
If the police chiefs are in theory delivered of any national subordination and represent the general interest, it does not remain about it less than they naturally preserve strong bonds with their State of origin, whose it sometimes happens to them to plead the cause.
Communication and languagesThe European commission must apply in theory the Politique linguistics of the European Union.
The Working languages of the European commission are the English , the French and the German , because they are well taught as foreign languages in all the Convention countries and lay out of a sufficient number translators since or towards each other official language of the European Union.
They was also the 3 only languages (before the widening of 2004) official simultaneously in several Convention countries. If this only criterion were retained today, the Swedish would be eligible because it is official in Sweden and Finland (and largely included/understood with the Denmark). Since the recent adhesion of Cyprus, the Greek would be eligible today according to this criterion. Concerning the other European countries candidates at the entry in the Union, the Turkish would meet this condition if the Turkey joined the Union, as well as the Croatian if the Croatia and the Bosnia-Herzégovine adhered to it (although the latter regards the Bosnien as a different language), and the Italian if the Suisse decided to make in the same way. All the other official languages of the European Union are it at the national level only in one Member State.
However, it should be specified that the language on which the international standards of Métadonnée S are based (those on which support the current Langages of beaconing such as HTML and XML and their alternatives) are currently exclusively available in English. These standards were primarily origin states-uniennes, although their organizations opened with international participants (in particular European, but also Canadian, Chinese, Japanese and Russian) who militated for their translation in other languages.
The organization to be adopted for the Gestion of the bench-mark data is the subject of the standard ISO/IEC 11179 on the Registres of metadata. The standards on the Métadonnée S condition the common Cadre of interworking European and the Schémas of classification of the data (glossaries, thesaurus, Taxonomie S,…). No transposition of these standards was carried out by the organizations of standardization of the States of the European Union. These standards are necessary for the placement of the management tools of the Données géospatiales (Directive INSPIRES).
White papers(nonexhaustive list)
- Recommendation on the creation of a large European market controlled by the installation of new solidarity, which leads to the signature of the Single act in February 1986.
- environmental Responsibility”, February 2000
- Strategy for the policy in the field of chemical substances, February 2001,
- European Governorship, July 25th 2001.
- Political European of transport by 2010, September 12th 2001.
- Education, November 21st 2001.
- White paper, on the Services of general interest, May 12th 2004, and missions of Political Public service
- of European communication 2006, to see White paper on a policy of European communication
See also: What a “green book” or a “white paper” at the European level?
Actions led by the European commissionIn the sector of the audio-visual one:
Evaluation of the program Media More (by MEDIA Consulting Group).
- Etude on the practices and the needs for the European audio-visual industry doubling subtitling (by MEDIA Consulting Group).
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