European Commission



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Evropska komisija v okviru Evropske unije
Rue de la Loi 200, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium,
Phone32 2 299 1111
Jose-Manuel Barroso, President

NOTE: Depot includes also the articles about international organisations, which have the seat outside Slovenia. For the time being the database includes Slovenian cultural producers, international organisations with a representative office in Slovenia, and Slovene cultural institutions abroad.

Like the Parliament and Council, the European Commission was set up in the 1950s under the EU's founding treaties. The Commission is the politically independent institution that represents and upholds the interests of the EU as a whole. It is the driving force within the EU's institutional system: it proposes legislation, policies and programmes of action and is responsible for implementing the decisions of Parliament and the Council. The Commission has used its right of initiative to transform the framework provided by the treaties establishing the European Communities into today's integrated structures. The benefits for citizens and companies throughout the Union have been considerable – freedom of movement, greater prosperity and much less red tape.

The Commission is an institution that consists of commissioners appointed by the member states and a Parliament to run the institution and enforce its decisions. A new Commission is appointed every five years, within six months of the elections of the European Parliament. Since the EU enlargement in May 2004 there has been one commissioner per country. The head office of the Commission is in Brussels (Belgium), but it also has offices in Luxembourg, representatives in all EU countries and delegations in many capital cities around the world. The European Commission proposes legislation to Parliament and the Council, manages and implements EU policies and budget, enforces European law (jointly with the Court of Justice), and represents the European Union on the international stage, for example by negotiating agreements between the EU and other countries.

The Commission is in constant contact with a wide range of interest groups and with two advisory bodies - the Economic and Social Committee (made up of employers' and trade unions' representatives) and the Committee of the Regions (made up of representatives of local and regional authorities). It also seeks the opinions of national parliaments and governments. The Commission's staff is organised into 36 departments, known as Directorates-General (DGs) and Services (such as the Legal Service). Each DG is responsible for a particular policy area and is headed by a Director-General who is answerable to one of the commissioners.

Slovenia became a full member of the Council of Europe in May 1993 and a member of the EU in May 2004. Since 2000 it has taken part in several cultural co-operation programmes of the European Commission.

The European Commissioner for Science and Research is Janez Potočnik.

See also