The Commission exercises the powers conferred on it by the Council for the implementation of the rules laid down by the Council (Article 211 of the EC Treaty and Article 124 of the Euratom Treaty).
The Council may subject the exercise of implementing powers to certain procedures. In specific cases, it reserves the right to exercise those powers directly. Implementing procedures must comply with the principles and rules laid down in advance by the Council, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after obtaining the Opinion of the European Parliament (Article 202 of the EC Treaty).
The delegation of powers from the Council to the Commission is subject to the involvement of committees consisting of Member State representatives and chaired by a Commission representative.
The Council Decision of 28 June 1999 laying down the conditions for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission (the new ‘Commitology Decision’ replacing Decision 87/373/EEC), established four procedures: the advisory procedure, the management procedure, the regulatory procedure, and finally, the safeguard procedure. The Decision also defines the (non-binding) criteria relevant to the choice of procedure.
The scope of the implementing powers is vast and covers almost all the areas of Community activity.
Pursuant to Article 274 of the EC Treaty (first paragraph of Article 179 of the Euratom Treaty and see also first paragraph of Article 78c of the ECSC Treaty, which expired on 23 July 2002), the Commission is responsible for implementing the budget on its own responsibility and in accordance with the provisions of the Financial Regulation adopted by the Council.
As an executive body, the Commission also manages Community funds, such as:
– the European Social Fund (ESF);
– the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF);
– the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG);
– the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF);
– the Cohesion Fund;
– the European Development Fund (EDF).