President of the European Commission
Article 214(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community provided that the Council, meeting in the composition of Heads of State or Government and acting by a qualified majority, nominated the person it intended to appoint as President of the Commission. This nomination was approved by the European Parliament. Henceforth, the European Council acting by a qualified majority shall propose to the European Parliament a candidate for President of the Commission (Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union – TEU). The choice of candidate must reflect the results of the European Parliament elections. The European Parliament shall elect the proposed candidate by a majority of its members. If a majority is not obtained, the European Council shall propose a new candidate within one month.
The President of the Commission shall participate in the choice of members of the Commission on the basis of the suggestions made by Member States. Furthermore, the President must agree with the appointment of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The President of the Commission lays down guidelines which enable the Commission to fulfil its mission. The President shall decide on the internal organisation of the Commission, ensuring that it acts consistently, efficiently and as a collegiate body, and shall appoint Vice-Presidents, other than the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, from among the members of the Commission.
A member of the Commission shall resign if, with approval from the College of Commissioners, the President so requests.
In September 2009, the former Portuguese Prime Minister José Manuel Durão Barroso, the appointed President of the Commission for the period 2004-2009, was elected by the European Parliament for a second mandate as the head of the European executive.