European Commission (EC)
The European Union (EU) is the result of a process of cooperation and integration which began in 1951 between six countries. After nearly fifty years, with four waves of accessions, the EU today has 25 Member States. The European Union's mission is to organise relations between the Member States and between their peoples in a coherent manner and on the basis of solidarity. The main objectives are: - to promote economic and social progress - to assert the identity of the European Union on the international scene - to introduce European citizenship - to develop an area of freedom, security and justice - to maintain and build on established EU law. The Commission fulfils three main functions: - The Commission is charged with making proposals for all new legislation. - The Commission acts as the guardian of the EU treaties to ensure that EU legislation is applied correctly by the Member States and that all citizens and participants in the single market can benefit from the level playing field that has been created. - The Commission is the executive body of the Union responsible for implementing and managing policy.