Today, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, appointed Michel Barnier as Special Adviser on European Defence and Security Policy.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "When this Commission took office, we said that we need to work on a stronger Europe when it comes to security and defence matters. Yes, Europe is chiefly a ‘soft power’. But even the strongest soft powers cannot make do in the long run without at least some integrated defence capacities. Michel Barnier has vast experience in the field of defence and security and is the right man to advise me and also the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on these important matters for the future of Europe."
Mr. Barnier served as European Commissioner in the Prodi (1999-2004) and Barroso II (2010-2014) Commissions. In 2001 he chaired the Working Group on European Defence as a member of the Praesidium of the Convention on the Future of Europe. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs in the French government (2004-2005). In 2006 Mr. Barnier, acting as Special Advisor to then Commission President José Manuel Barroso, he presented a report to the European Council proposing the creation of European civil protection force. In the Barroso II Commission, he was one of those leading the 'Defence' Task Force and oversaw the European Commission's Communication on European defence markets presented to the European Council in December 2013.
In his new role, Mr. Barnier will notably, as his first task, help prepare the contribution of the President of the European Commission to the European Council's work on European defence policy.
Special Advisers provide direct assistance to Members of the Commission. The Commission can engage Special Advisers, by reason of their special qualifications and notwithstanding gainful employment in some other capacity, to assist one of the European institutions, either regularly or for a specified period. The position Mr. Barnier is taking up for President Juncker is part time post and is not remunerated.
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