The Commission is independent of national governments. Its job is to represent and uphold the interests of the EU as a whole. It drafts proposals for new European laws, which it presents to the European Parliament and the Council. It is also the EU’s executive arm – in other words, it is responsible for implementing the decisions of Parliament and the Council. That means managing the day-to-day business of the European Union: implementing its policies, running its programmes and spending its funds. Like the Parliament and Council, the European Commission was set up in the 1950s under the EU’s founding treaties.
The European Commission represents the general interest of the EU and is the driving force in proposing legislation (to Parliament and the Council), administering and implementing EU policies, enforcing EU law (jointly with the Court of Justice) and negotiating in the international arena.
The EU is active in a wide range of policy areas, from human rights to transport and trade. Click on a policy title below for a summary of what the EU does in that area, and for useful links to relevant bodies, laws and documents.
The EU provides funding and grants for a broad range of projects and programmes. Find information on EU funding opportunities and look for organisations which already benefit from EU funding.