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EU Commission: What is it and what does it do?

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A key vote is taking place to decide whether to approve the candidate for Europe's top job. The way Ursula von der Leyen emerged as the surprise nominee for European Commission president has prompted some criticism of EU leaders.But what is the European Commission and why does it matter to the more than 500 million people living in the EU's 28 countries[/img]
What does the European Commission do?
Its job is to come up with laws for member states and enforce them. Based in Brussels, it's the only EU body that can draft laws.Once its proposals have the approval of the European Parliament and a council of 28 ministers from the EU states, they can become law.While the people who live in the EU may not always be aware of where laws have come from, they are sometimes affected by them.
Clean airThe European Commission has referred a number of countries - including the UK - to court for breaching air pollution limits.Fines amounting to millions of pounds could be enforced by the EU body, which says it "owed it to its citizens," to take legal action.
[img]https://news.files.bbci.co.uk/include/idt2/assets/3fa45358-3d48-40be-8c9f-aed79111fd2d" alt="" class="Img__Image-s1jp862x-0 lmLsXj"/>GettyEU Commission in numbers
28commissioners
139offices outside the EU
32,399 total staff
€3.6bn running costs (2019 budget)
€165.8bntotal EU budget (2019)
Source: European Commission and Council dataRule of lawThe European Commission has also taken action against some eastern member states over the rule of law.It launched a series of legal actions against Poland over reforms to its judiciary.It warned Romania it would take legal action if it failed to scrap measures seen to threaten the independence of its courts.Separately, the European Parliament backed disciplinary action against Hungary, amid concerns over free speech and treatment of asylum seekers.
What sanctions can the EU impose on Hungary[/img]

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager took on Google over competition issues
Competition cases have also been brought against Apple, Amazon, Ikea, Gazprom and chip giant Qualcomm.Going overseasMobile roaming charges for travellers within the EU ended in 2017, after a lengthy battle between the European Commission and mobile operators.The new rules meant consumers travelling within any EU country could text, call or go online on their mobiles for the same cost as they would pay at home.On air safety, it maintains a list of airlines which are either banned from operating in Europe, or face restrictions on their operations.Olive oilLess popular was an attempt in 2013 to introduce rules for restaurants about refillable bottles and dipping bowls for olive oil.The move was introduced to improve hygiene and protect consumers, said the Commission. But it was ridiculed as unnecessary interference, and the EU backtracked on the idea shortly afterwards.
Why is there controversy about the top job?
Every five years, the European Commission's 28 commissioners are replaced.New commissioners - one from each country - and a president of the commission are put forward to be voted on by a newly-elected European Parliament.These candidates all have to be approved by a clear majority of the parliament, which has 751 MEPs.
Ursula von der Leyen has to convince the EU parliament to back her
The process of finding a candidate to fill the role of president this time has attracted criticism.German politician Ursula von der Leyen was put forward by political leaders in the EU as their preferred candidate in a last-minute deal.
Who is Ursula von der Leyen?
The leaders rejected the candidacy process agreed with the European Parliament, under which political groupings put forward their own candidates during EU parliamentary elections.Mrs von der Leyen is a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel but she faces some opposition from green and left-wing political groups.If she is approved, she would be the first woman to lead the European Commission.
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