CONCORD stands for Consolidated Cooperation and Relations Command. CONCORD was founded over a century ago, not long after the five empires had established contact with each other. Relationships between the five empires were strained right from the start and one of the main purposes of CONCORD was to ease the fragile tension and create a foundation for the empires to work their differences out in a peaceful manner. In this regard, the workings of CONCORD can be said to have been successful, since the empires have kept the peace over the last century. On numerous occasions relationships deteriorated to within an inch of all out war, but through the efforts of CONCORD a compromise solution has always been found.
CONCORD is branched into numerous divisions, each of which handles a certain aspect of the empire relationship. Of these divisions the CAD (Commerce Assessment Department), which oversees inter-stellar trade agreements and regulations; and DED (Directive Enforcement Department), which oversees policing in space, are by far the largest and most influential. Most space farers will only ever deal with these two departments on any regular basis and to many those two, and mainly DED are the actual face of CONCORD.
The inner workings of CONCORD are democratic in nature, today each of the five empires have an equal saying in all matters. Early on the Amarr were adamant that the Minmatar Republic would not get an admission into CONCORD, but later reluctantly agreed, even if they still refuse to accept the legitimacy of the Republic.
Secure Commerce Commission
The Minmatar Republic and the Jove Empire once cooperated on a joint project to ensure the Secure Commerce Commission would act under strict codes of neutrality, similar to other empire-run institutions such as [InterBus. These codes ensure the SCC keeps all dealings secure, but also secret, with no chance of government interference.
For the first few decades of its existence CONCORD wielded very limited power, but in recent years their authority has grown alongside that of inter-stellar trade, which is becoming more important by the day throughout the world of New Eden. The growing power of CONCORD has caused some concern within the empires and many are becoming alarmed by CONCORD's attempts to insert its autonomy in areas hitherto regarded as internal affairs of the empires. The root for this development lies in the evolution of CONCORD itself. It's no longer simply a neutral ground for the empires to hammer out diplomatic agreements - it has become an independent institution setting its own rules and regulations and, more importantly, is both willing and able to uphold them. The ever-expanding bureaucracy of CONCORD has become a-empirical, swearing fealty to no one race. The only hold the empires have had on CONCORD, that of financial support, is waning day by day as the revenues garnered through customs, confiscation of illegal goods, selling licenses, and more, are steadily increasing.
The empires haven't been bothered to interfere with this development as, on the whole, CONCORD is doing its job very well and there have been no major cases of abused power. But many fear that this may change one day.