The European Commission is the EU's executive body and represents the interests of Europe as a whole (as opposed to the interests of individual countries). One of the main institutions of the European Union, it drafts proposals for new European laws and manages the day-to-day business of implementing EU policies and the spending of EU funds. As well as headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and offices in Luxembourg, the Commission also has offices known as 'representations' in all EU member countries.
The Commission's main roles are to:
The Commissioners meet once a week in Brussels. 23 000 staff members work in the Commission in departments, known as directorates-general (DGs) or services, each responsible for a particular policy area and headed by a Director-General, who reports directly to the President and the Commissioner in charge of the dossier (policy area). The DGs draft laws, but their proposals become official only once the College of Commissioners adopts them during its weekly meeting. The Commission also administers a number of executive agencies.
The current President of the European Commission is José Manuel Barroso who began his second term of office in February 2010. The President is nominated by the European Council. The Council also appoints the other Commissioners in agreement with the nominated President.