The nearly 25.000 civil servants in the Commission take care of the day-to-day running and are organised in some 40 departments known as Directorates- General (or “DGs”), and various other services (e.g. translation, publications, legal service, etc.). Each DG covers a specific policy area or service, and is headed by a Director-General that reports to a Commissioner. Each DG is subdivided into directorates and each directorate is in turn subdivided into units.
The DGs are at the heart of the drafting process but their work needs to be approved by their Commissioner first (and that often means the Cabinet of that Commissioner), by the Legal Service and the Secretariat-General, and then undergo inter-service consultation in order to be approved by the College of Commissioners at one of their Wednesday meetings, by at least 14 votes out of 27.
All the DGs and services are coordinated by the Secretariat-General, headed by a Secretary-General that reports directly to the President.
The ‘seat’ of the Commission is in Brussels (Belgium), but it also has offices in Luxembourg, representations in all EU countries and delegations in many capital cities around the world.