Polycomb repressive complexes 1 and 2 (PRC1 and 2) play a critical role in the epigenetic regulation of transcription during cellular differentiation, stem cell pluripotency and neoplastic progression. Here we show that the polycomb group protein EED, a core component of PRC2, physically interacts with and functions as part of PRC1. Components of PRC1 and PRC2 compete for EED binding. EED functions to recruit PRC1 to H3K27me3 loci and enhances PRC1-mediated H2A ubiquitin E3 ligase activity. Taken together, we suggest an integral role for EED as an epigenetic exchange factor coordinating the activities of PRC1 and 2.