Public law exam tips!

Q1. Role of Commission (powers, duties, composition and relationship with other institutions)

(Articles 211-219 EC). This guideline is brought to you by Notary public London

Members of the European Commission are called “commissioners”. There is one for every member state. The commission and the council both have powers to make legislation. Both can make regulations and directives however, it doesn’t mean the commissioner acts other than in an executive fashion. The treaty of Lisbon provides that the number of commissioners will correspond to two thirds of the number of member states.

The method by which they are appointed is that after consulting the European Parliament, the MS will first nominate the president of the commission by qualified majority. For a 5 yr term on grounds of general competence and “whose independence is beyond doubt”

The duties and powers are set of the commission are set out in Article 211 of the EC treaty.

  1. i) Guardian of the Treaties – the commission has been given the power to ensure that the provision of the treaty and the measures adopted for their implementation are applied. It monitors performance of the MS in complying with their treaty obligations and may receive complaints from individuals or companies when MS infringe their rights. Under Article 226, the commission may investigate the MS in breach and prosecute. Obligations are known as the “loyalty clause” set out in Article 10 which states “MS must take all appropriate measures, whether general or particular to ensure fulfilment of obligations arising from treaty”.
  2. ii) Initiator of Community action – Treaty of European Union now allows the Council and Parliament to request that the commission submits appropriate proposals for legislation where these are required for the purpose of implementing the treaty. It will issue Green papers containing the description of the problem and the solution and then a White paper outlining the proposed legislation for consultation.

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