How are the President and the Commissioners of the European Commission elected?

CEC/ September 24, 2019/ News

How are the President and the Commissioners of the European Commission elected?

Since the Lisbon Treaty, the President of the European Commission is elected by the European Parliament based on a proposal of the European Council which appoints its candidate by the qualified majority “by taking account of the results of the European Parliament Elections”. If this candidate is not approved by the Parliament, the European Council suggests a new one in a month period, and under the same procedure (art. 17 TUE).

The other European Commissioners are appointed by the Member States. The president distributes the portfolios amongst them. The list of commissioners is then adopted by the Council by the qualified majority. Then the constituted college is submitted to a vote for approval at the European Parliament, after auditions of the candidates in front of relevant parliamentary commissions.

After the approval from the Parliament, heads of States or Governments (European Council) name officially the Commission acting by a qualified majority.

Members of the Commission, although appointed by their respective governments, do not represent their State: they are independent and must not endure any pressure in the execution of their mission, or exercise another professional activity.

A member of the Commission can be dismissed by the CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) by request of the Council or the Commission, if he fails to fulfil the obligations related to his functions. He has to resign if the President asks him to.

The German Ursula von der Leyen has been elected as the new President of the European Commission.

Agenda for the nomination of Commissioners of the European commission for the 2019-2024 period:

Early September 2019, the Council approves of the list of appointed commissioners, and then Mrs Von Der Leyen passes the proposal of portfolios to the EP.

Auditions of the EP will take place from September 30th until October 8th 2019. Before that, candidates will be sent by the EP a written questionnaire to which they must have answered in writing before the audition.

The auditions last 3 hours and are streamed live.

Afterwards, each parliamentary commissions make a report on each audition and the EP prepares to vote, which is planned on October 23rd (inauguration vote of the new Commission: if problems occur during the auditions, a solution must be found before October 23rd) in order for the new Commission to assume function on November 1st 2019.

Here is the list of commissioners appointed by their Member States:

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