At the heart of the European Union’s political system lies the European Commission (website), an institution that has been instrumental in shaping the bloc’s trajectory since its inception in 1958. As the EU’s executive arm, the Commission plays a critical role in proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties, and managing the day-to-day operations of the Union.

From Rome to Today: The European Commission’s Evolving Role

The Commission’s journey began with the signing of the Treaty of Rome, laying the foundations for a united Europe. Since then, it has evolved into a key driver of policy, working to ensure that the collective interests of the Union are always at the forefront.

The Engine of EU Policy

The European Commission operates as the nexus of the EU’s legislative process, proposing policies and legislation that address the challenges faced by the Union. Hence, its functions encompass enforcing EU law, allocating the EU budget, and representing the EU internationally, thus fortifying the Union’s standing on the global stage.

Interplay with European Parliament and European Council

The European Commission functions not in isolation but in a dynamic interplay with other pivotal EU institutions. Its proposals serve as the lifeblood for the European Parliament and the Council of the Union (read: What is the difference between EU Council, Council of the European Union, and Council of Europe?), where they are debated, amended, and ultimately decided upon.

The Commission’s role is to represent the interests of the Union as a whole, whereas the Parliament, composed of directly elected representatives, and the Council of Ministers, representing the governments of member states, infuse the legislative process with democratic legitimacy and national perspectives. This triadic relationship ensures that EU legislation is created through a balanced and comprehensive approach that embodies the principles of democratic accountability and represents the diverse tapestry of European citizenry. This system of checks and balances, where the Commission’s initiatives are rigorously scrutinized and refined by the Parliament and the Council, exemplifies the EU’s unique model of supranational governance, striving for unity while respecting the rich mosaic of its member states.

Monitoring: The Bedrock of Effective Policy Implementation

Monitoring forms the backbone of the Commission’s policy implementation strategy. Through constant oversight, the Commission ensures that EU policies are effectively applied, and objectives are met, maintaining the integrity and efficacy of the Union’s governance.

The Critical Watch: Public Affairs and the European Commission

Monitoring the European Commission is essential from a public affairs standpoint (read “The pigeonholes are back“). It enables stakeholders to stay informed about policy developments, participate in the legislative process, and ensure that their voices are heard in the formulation of new directives and regulations.

Global and European Counterparts

Several institutions worldwide share functions akin to those of the European Commission:

  • The African Union Commission – Drives the agenda and work of the African Union.
  • The ASEAN Secretariat – Facilitates cooperation among ASEAN member states.
  • The Organization of American States (OAS) Executive Secretariat – Promotes solidarity and cooperation among states in the Americas.

Policy Milestones in the Commission’s History

The European Commission has been at the forefront of numerous policy milestones, such as:

  • The establishment of the single European market.
  • The introduction of the Euro.
  • The Schengen Agreement, leading to the creation of Europe’s borderless area.


The European Commission stands as a testament to the power of collective action and governance. By continually monitoring the application and impact of EU policies, the Commission not only upholds the principles of the Union but also paves the way for a more integrated and prosperous Europe.

Integration in Policy-Insider.AI

The following documents are available on and also included in daily alerts:

Legislative and Policy Documents:

  • Acts
  • Action Plans
  • Amended Proposals for a Decision, Directive, and Regulation
  • Amendments to an Agreement
  • Amendments to the Proposal
  • Annexes
  • Communications from the Commission to the European Parliament
  • Delegated Decisions, Directives, and Regulations
  • Directives
  • Draft Budgets
  • Draft Communications, Decisions, Directives, and Regulations
  • Green Papers
  • Legislative Resolutions
  • Proposals for Decisions, Directives, Regulations, and Acts
  • White Papers

Commission and Parliamentary Documents:

  • Acknowledgement Receipts
  • Addendums
  • Administrative Procedures
  • Agendas (Including European Commission Agenda)
  • Annual Activity Reports
  • COM Documents from EU Parliament Register of Documents
  • Commissioners’ Weekly Activities and Meetings
  • European Commission Minutes
  • Letters of Amendment
  • Own-Initiative Reports
  • Reports from the Commission
  • Resolutions
  • Staff Working Documents and Papers
  • Treaties and Protocols

Evaluation, Impact, and Strategic Planning:

  • Budgets
  • Calls for Evidence for Evaluations or Impact Assessments
  • Consultation Strategies
  • Economic Forecasts
  • Evaluation Roadmaps
  • Evaluations
  • Executive Summaries of Evaluations
  • Impact Assessments and Summaries
  • Inception Impact Assessments
  • Joint Impact Assessments and Summaries
  • Management Plans
  • Road Maps

Calls, Notices, and Public Consultations:

  • Calls for Expressions of Interest
  • Calls for Proposals
  • Contract Notices
  • Factsheets
  • Factual Summary Reports of Public Consultations
  • Fitness Checks
  • Joint Synopsis Reports of Public Consultations
  • Notices to Readers, Stakeholders, and Recruitment
  • Public Consultation Strategies
  • Synopsis Reports of Public Consultations

Financial Documents:

  • Amended Proposals for Supplementary and Amending Budgets
  • Draft Supplementary and Amending Budgets
  • Exchange Rates
  • Interest Rates
  • Annual Reports with Statements of Assurance

International and Interinstitutional Agreements:

  • International Agreements
  • Interinstitutional Agreements
  • Internal Agreements
  • Joint Decisions, Proposals, Reports, and Texts
  • Memoranda of Understanding
  • Protocols to Agreements

Communication and Information Releases:

  • Announcements
  • Communications Concerning the Position of the Council
  • Daily News
  • Eurobarometer – Country Factsheets and Summaries
  • Information Communicated
  • Information Notices
  • Joint Communications
  • News Releases
  • Press Releases
  • Questions and Answers
  • Read-outs
  • Replies to National Parliaments’ Opinions
  • Speeches
  • Statements

Consultative and Advisory Documents:

  • Answers to Written Questions
  • Assents
  • Council Conclusions
  • Declarations
  • Joint Staff Working Documents
  • Magazines
  • Opinions (On Evaluations, Fitness Checks, Impact Assessments, European Parliament’s Amendments, and Proposing Amendments)
  • Position Papers
  • Reflection Papers

Monitoring and Progress Reports:

  • Country Insights
  • General Guidelines and Publications
  • Guidelines
  • Joint Reports
  • Progress Reports
  • Recommendations for Decisions and Recommendations
  • Report of Committees
  • Special Eurobarometer Reports
  • State Aid Decisions and Information
  • Studies and Summaries
  • Amended Proposals
  • Amendments
  • Council Conclusions
  • Decisions Adopted by Bodies Created by International Agreements
  • Implementing Decisions, Directives, and Regulations
  • Judicial Information
  • Notes
  • Notices
  • Notifications
  • Opinions
  • Presentations
  • Protocols
  • Regulations
  • Rules of Procedure
  • Statutes


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This article was written in English. Other language versions have been automatically translated and might therefore feature incorrect information.