The European Commission represents the interests of the EU as a whole. It proposes new legislation to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, and it ensures that EU law is correctly applied by member countries. The term 'Commission' refers to both the 27 Commissioners (28 after Croatia's accession on 1stJuly 2013) and the wider institution itself.

The Commission has the right of initiative to propose laws for adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU (national ministers). In most cases, the Commission makes proposals to meet its obligations under the EU treaties, or because another EU institution, country or stakeholder has asked it to act. From April 2012, EU citizens may also call on the Commission to propose laws.

Before making proposals, the Commission consults widely so that stakeholders' views can be taken into account. In general, an assessment of the potential economic, social and environmental impact of a given piece of legislation act is published along with the proposal itself.

The principles of subsidiarity and proportionality mean that the EU may legislate only where action is more effective at EU level than at national, regional or local level, and then no more than necessary to attain the agreed objectives.

Once EU legislation has been adopted, the Commission ensures that it is correctly applied by the EU member countries.

Members

Nadia Calviño

Director-General, Directorate-General for Budget

Emanuele Ciriolo

Directorate General for Health and Consumer

Nicole Dewandre

Advisor for Societal Issues

Isidro Laso Ballesteros

Head of Startup Europe Sector, DG-Connect

David Mair

Head of unit A1

Jacqueline Minor

Head of Representation to UK

Aude Neuville

Policy Officer, Joint Research Centre

Dominique Ristori

Director-General of Directorate-General Energy

Dr Anne-Marie Sassen

Policy Officer, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Lewin Schmitt

Policy Assistant, European Political Strategy Centre

Dr Fabrizio Sestini

Senior Expert, Advisor, Digital Social Innovation, DG Connect

Dr Max Uebe

Head of Unit, Employment Strategy, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Dr David Wilkinson

Director of Policy Support Coordination