Glossary of summaries

Help Export PDF Print this page 

President of the European Commission

Under Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), the European Council acting by a qualified majority proposes to the European Parliament (EP) a candidate for President of the European Commission. The choice of candidate must take the result of the EP elections into account. The EP elects the proposed candidate by a majority of its members. If a majority is not obtained, the European Council must propose a new candidate within 1 month.

Further to proposals from EU countries, the Commission President must agree with the Council of the EU on the list of members of the Commission. His/her agreement is needed to appoint the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (who also becomes a Commission Vice-President).

The President:

  • decides on the Commissioners' portfolios and the Commission's internal organisation;
  • provides the Commission's political guidance to fulfil its tasks;
  • leads the Commission's work;
  • chairs the College of Commissioners' meetings;
  • represents the EU around the world, at the level of Heads of State and Government, in matters falling under the Commission's responsibility, for example in G7 meetings;
  • takes part in the European Council and in major debates in the EP.

Jean-Claude Juncker, former Luxembourg Prime Minister, was elected President for the period 1 November 2014 - 31 October 2019.