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Weekly meetings of the Commissioners

The Commission meets every week to discuss politically sensitive issues and adopt proposals that need to be agreed by 'oral procedure'.

The rules of procedure require the Commission (meaning the 28 Commissioners) to meet at least once a week.

In practice, the Commissioners meet every Wednesday in Brussels except during the European Parliament's plenary sessions when they meet in Strasbourg.  Additional special sittings may be held when necessary, for example just before or during an important meeting of the Council (national leaders or ministers).

The agenda for each meeting is based chiefly on the Commission work programme.  Each item on the agenda is presented by the Commissioner responsible for the related policy area.  The whole team of Commissioners then takes a collective decision on it.

You are welcome to consult the agenda of the next Commission meeting. Please note that the agenda is set up in French before being translated into English. Therefore you might find the French version of the document some hours earlier on the Web.

This decision-making procedure at the weekly meetings is known as 'oral procedure'.  It is used only for major proposals that require oral discussion within the Commission before they can be adopted.

Most Commission decisions, however, are not taken at its weekly meetings, but are adopted by 'written procedure' – a proposal or draft document is circulated to all Commissioners, who can make comments within a certain time frame.

The Commission has the 'right of initiative' to propose new laws.  Once the Commission has collectively decided on a legislative proposal, it goes on to the next stage in the decision-making process.  In the majority of cases (under the standard 'ordinary legislative procedure' or 'codecision') it is then sent to the European Parliament and the Council for review and adoption.

At the same time, parliaments in EU countries are invited to give their opinion on the proposal and to check if EU-level action is indeed more effective than action at regional or local level (subsidiarity control).

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