The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union, the one in charge of proposing legislation to the Parliament and the Council and of enforcing it, implementing decisions and ensuring the compliance with the EU treaties. In this particular sense, the Commission is responsible of taking a country before the European Court of Justice if it doesn’t comply with the European treaties and European law.
The Commission is composed by one Commissioner from each country who nonetheless do not represent their country’s government, but act in a neutral way. One of the Commissioners acts as President of the Commission and is assisted by a number of Vice Presidents. The President is Ursula von der Leyen, who belongs to the EPP family. She succeeded Jean-Claude Juncker, who has been President of the European Commission from 2014 to November 2019.
The antecedents of the current European Commission can be traced back to the Commission of the European Economic Community, which first met in 1958. Since then, five Presidents of the Commission can be related to the EPP family. Although the EPP was not founded until 1976, the first President of the Commission Walter HALLSTEIN (CDU), Franco Maria MALFATTI (CD) and François-Xavier ORTOLI (RPR) all belonged to national parties that later joined the EPP. After 1976, two other EPP leaders have become President of the Commission with the full support of the party: Jacques SANTER (1995-1999), who was also President of the EPP in the 80s, and incumbent President José Manuel BARROSO (2004).
In general, the EPP has always maintained a first-class representation in the European Commission, including Commissioners like Michel BARNIER, Antonio TAJANI, Johannes HAHN (all EPP Vice Presidents), Franco FRATTINI, Benita FERRERO-WALDNER, Loyola DE PALACIO, Ján FIGEĽ and Frans ANDRIESSEN in previous Commissions. The EPP holds regular meetings with the Commissioners belonging to the political family (14 out of 28 in the current Commission) and some of them are attached to the activities of the party being EPP Vice Presidents (see previous paragraph) or chairing EPP Ministerial Meetings.