European Commission

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The Commission operates as a cabinet government, with 28 members of the Commission, known as "Commissioners". There is one member per member state, but members are bound by their oath of office to represent the general interest of the EU as a whole rather than their home state.
One of the 28 is the Commission President, proposed by the European Council, and elected by the European Parliament.
The Council of the European Union then nominates the other 27 members of the Commission in agreement with the nominated President, and the 28 members, as a single body, are then subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament.
The group of 28 Commissioners is known as the "college". A new college is appointed every 5 years.

See "How the Commission is organised" The Commission is organised into 3 areas:

  1. Directorates-General (DGs), which are departments responsible for different policy areas. DGs develop, implement and manage EU policy, law, and funding programmes. The British equivalent is the Civil Service.
  2. Service departments, which deal with particular administrative issues.
  3. Executive agencies manage programmes set up by the Commission.


Each DG is headed by a Director-Deneral, who in turn reports to a European Commissioner responsible for the corresponding policy area:

  • The European Patent Office: EPO Directorates-General;
  • The Secretariat of the European Parliament: Parliament Directorates-General.
  • The General Secretariat of the Council of the EU: Council Directorates-General.

The Directorates-General (DGs) of the EC are divided into four groups:

Policy DGs

AGRIAgriculture and Rural Development
CLIMAClimate Action
CNCTCommunications Networks, Content and Technology
ECFINEconomic and Financial Affairs
EACEducation, Youth, Sport and Culture
EMPLEmployment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
FISMAFinancial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union
SANTEHealth and Food Safety
GROWInternal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
JRC Joint Research Centre
JUSTJustice and Consumers
MAREMaritime Affairs and Fisheries
HOMEMigration and Home Affairs
MOVEMobility and Transport
REGIORegional and Urban Policy
RTDResearch and Innovation
TAXUDTaxation and Customs Union

External Relations DGs

ECHOEuropean Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
DEVCOInternational Cooperation and Development
NEAREuropean Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations

General Service DGs


Internal Service DGs

HRHuman Resources and Security

Executive Agencies

CHAFEAConsumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency
EACEAEducation, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency
ERCEAEuropean Research Council Executive Agency
EASMEExecutive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
INEAInnovation and Networks Executive Agency
REAResearch Executive Agency

Service Departments

PMOPaymaster's Office, aka Administration and Payment of Individual Entitlements
DPOData Protection Officer
OLAFEuropean Anti-Fraud Office
EPSOEuropean Personnel Selection Office
EPSCEuropean Political Strategy Centre
FPIForeign Policy Instruments
LinkHistorical Archives Service
OIBInfrastructure and Logistics in Brussels
OILInfrastructure and Logistics in Luxemburg
IASInternal Audit Service
IASInternal Audit Service
SJLegal Service
LinkLibrary and e-Resources Centre
OPPublications Office
SRSSStructural Reform Support Service
ARTICLE 50 TASK FORCETaskforce on Article 5 negotiations with the United Kingdom. In charge of preparing and conducting the negotiations with the UK, taking into account the framework of its future relationship with the European Union.

Europe by Satellite


  • Jun.12.2018: Commission protects AirBnB lobby paper as ‘commercial secret’. It is no surprise that online rental platform AirBnB and its allies would prefer to keep their controversial political demands to the European Commission private. But it is a disgrace to see the Commission oblige by rebranding these lobbying documents as ‘commercial secrets’ and denying public access. After 8 months of wrangling over their release, Corporate Europe Observatory can report the lobbying documents shows AirBnB and its like attacking a whole range of measures used by cities to protect affordable housing. ... the European Holiday Home Association (EHHA) – the trade association led by AirBnB ... Corporate Europe Observatory.
  • Jun.02.2017: The creeping privatisation of healthcare. The "public nature of healthcare provision in Europe has been challenged through a series of reforms that amount to what can best be described as the marketisation of health care", Dr Christoph Hermann. For private healthcare to be profitable for more than just the wealthiest minority, it still requires public funding. Despite all of this, the Commission’s enthusiasm for a free market in healthcare has not dampened. When Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis’ started office in Nov.2014, Politico reported that the Commissioner envisioned "a single market for health services" that mirrors the logic of a single market for energy. Corporate Europe Observatory.