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European Commission

Overview of role and competences

- Executive and initiator of legislative proposals

- 27 Commissioners, one from each Member State
- Appointed every 5 years within 6 months of the EP elections (2009-2014)
- The EU 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 legislation, which it presents to the European Parliament and to the Council.
- It is also the executive arm – responsible for the implementation of decisions of Parliament and Council (also the spending of the budget) and enforce EU law together with Court of Justice
- The Commission is accountable to the Parliament, which has the power to dismiss the whole Commission. Also, the Commission is represented at all session of the Parliament, where it must clarify and justify its policies (including the answer to written questions of MEPs).
- The Commission’s staff is organised in departments, called ‘directorates-general’ (DGs) and services (legal service). Each DG is responsible for a particular policy area and is headed by a Director-General who is answerable to one of the Commissioners.

Directorate General for Health and Consumers protection (DG SANCO)

Since November 2012, EU Commissioner in charge of DG SANCO is Tonio Borg


Composition of DG SANCO

Animal Welfare Section of SG SANCO webpage