How the European Commission works
The European Commission proposes new legislation, which it then presents (in most cases) to the European Parliament and Council of the European Union for scrutiny and adoption. The Commission also makes sure that EU legislation is implemented by each member state.
The President of the Commission is nominated by the governments of the EU member states. The current President is Jose Manuel Barroso, formerly the Portuguese Prime Minister.
Each member state also nominates a Commissioner, usually a senior politician. Commissioners do not represent the interests of their country - instead they are given responsibility for a specific policy area, such as science and research or health. Britain's EU Commissioner is Catherine Ashton, who is responsible for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and is also a Vice-President of the Commission.
Other Commissioners relevant to Cancer Research UK include Commissioner John Dalli (a former Maltese minister), who is responsible for Health and Consumer Protection, and Commissioner Máire Geoghan-Quinn (a former minister in Ireland) who has the brief for Research, Innovation and Science.
Why does Cancer Research UK work with the Commission?
The Commission is responsible for initiating EU legislation and drafting it. When developing legislation, it is important that the Commission gets information and suggestions from the outset from relevant organisations, to make sure that new laws are fair and practical.
We offer briefings, explaining issues or highlighting potential problems, to the Commission officials who are responsible for preparing the draft legislation.
We also respond to relevant consultations which the Commission holds prior to drafting major policy initiatives in order to get input from across the EU.
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team