As a European Commissioner I am part of a team of 27 Commissioners, one from each Member State. This Commission started in 2010 and will continue until 2014.
Each Commissioner has his or her own area of responsibility, but it works together, as one team which we call the 'college'. This means that when I present a proposal, which needs to be decided by the Commission, all 27 Commissioners decide on it together in the college. In the same way, when another Commissioner presents a proposal from their area, I take part in the decision. Once agreed by the Commission, proposals which could lead to new European laws or changes to existing laws, are then sent to the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.
Within the European Commission, I am Commissioner for the Environment. This means my job is to deal with things like waste, pollution and air and water quality, as well as really complex issues such as biodiversity or the ways in which we can make our European economy more environmentally friendly, or 'greener'.
I am supported by the Directorate-General (or DG) for Environment. The Directorate is led by a Director-General who supervises its day-to-day work, and its role in developing and implementing environmental policy. As you can imagine, I work very closely with the Director-General. Together, we set out priorities and provide the necessary political advice and guidance we need to do our work
As a European Commissioner, I do not work for any national government. This means that although I am a Slovenian and I was nominated to this job by the Slovenian Government, I am independent: I work for the European Union and all its citizens, wherever they come from.