New assessment of gas locked in ice in European waters

A study led by the University of Southampton has mapped several sites in Europe containing gas hydrate—a relatively clean fuel which could help bridge the gap between fossil fuels and renewables.

Fertilizer sourced from sewage sludge

Germany's new Waste and Sewage Sludge Ordinance requires large sewage treatment plants to recover phosphates from sewage sludge or ashes as of 2032. Conventional recovery technologies are costly and chemical-laden. A new ...

EU bans controversial pesticide

A controversial pesticide linked to developmental problems in humans will be definitively banned in the EU in 2020 after a vote on Friday by member states, the European Commission said.

Aegean volunteers battle to turn plastic waste tide

Dressed in her protective wetsuit and scuba gear, Antigone Kouteri jumps into the murky waters of Zakynthos harbour in search of plastics—and promptly snags her arm on a submerged object.

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European Commission

The European Commission (formally the Commission of the European Communities) is the executive branch of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union.

The Commission operates in the method of cabinet government, with 27 Commissioners. There is one Commissioner per member state, though Commissioners are bound to represent the interests of the EU as a whole rather than their home state. One of the 27 is the Commission President (currently José Manuel Durão Barroso) appointed by the European Council. The Council then appoints the other 26 Commissioners in agreement with the nominated President, and then the 27 Commissioners as a single body are subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament. The present Barroso Commission took office in late 2004 and should serve a five-year term.

The term "Commission" can mean either the 27 Commissioners themselves (known as the College of Commissioners), or the larger institution that also includes the administrative body of about 25,000 European civil servants who are split into departments called Directorates-General and Services. The internal working languages are English, French and German.

The Commissioners and their immediate teams are based in the Berlaymont building of Brussels.

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