- The single executive body formed in 1967 (as the Commission of the European Communities) from the three separate executive bodies of the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Atomic Energy Community, and the European Economic Community It now consists of 30 Commissioners: two each from France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the UK; and one each from Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden. There are plans to reduce the membership to one Commissioner per country, with further reductions from 2009. The Commissioners accept joint responsibility for their decisions, which are taken on the basis of a majority vote. The Commission initiates and implements EU legislation and mediates between member governments. The Commissioners are backed by a staff of some 16 000 civil servants.
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