On 11 July, President Juncker interviewed Sir Julian King as the candidate for Commissioner from the United Kingdom to replace former Commissioner Lord Hill. On this basis, President Juncker has today announced his intention to allocate the Security Union portfolio to Sir Julian King.
The Commissioner for the Security Union will support the implementation of the European Agenda on Security that the European Commission adopted on 28 April 2015. He will contribute to delivering an operational and effective Security Union, as the Commission announced in its Communication of 20 April 2016 on delivering on the European Agenda on Security.
A Mission Letter sent today by President Juncker to Sir Julian King details his main tasks and responsibilities as Commissioner in charge of the Security Union.
The Commissioner for the Security Union will work in the project team and under the guidance of First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, in charge of Better Regulation, Interinstitutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. He will support and complement the work of Dimitris Avramopoulos, the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship. A Task Force composed of experts from several Directorates-General and supervised by the Director-General for Home Affairs will support the Commissioner for Security Union. This Task Force will in particular include experts from the Directorates-General for Home Affairs (HOME), Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) as well as Energy (DG ENER). As this is a new portfolio that complements existing portfolios, the responsibilities of the other Commissioners remain untouched.
On the choice of the portfolio, President Juncker consulted over the past weeks the President of the European Parliament as well as several other leading Members of the European Parliament. He also informed last night Prime Minister Theresa May of his choice.
Procedurally, the new Commissioner of British nationality is appointed by the Council of the EU by common accord with the President of the Commission after consultation of the European Parliament (Article 246, subparagraph 2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). In addition, the Interinstitutional Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission foresees that the President of the Commission “seriously considers” the results of the consultation of the European Parliament before giving his accord to the decision of the Council to appoint the new Commissioner (para 6 of the Framework Agreement).
President Juncker is sending today a letter to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament informing the latter of his intention to allocate to Sir Julian King the responsibility for the Security Union portfolio. This letter is sent in copy to Robert Fico, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, currently holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
From the moment the Council formally consults the European Parliament, Sir Julian King will be Commissioner-Designate. He will then have the right to draw on the relevant Commission services to prepare for his exchange of views with the European Parliament. Prior to his appointment by the Council, by common accord with the President of the Commission, he will not be taking part in College meetings.
Under Article 17(6) of the Treaty on European Union the right to organise the work of the Commission is a prerogative of its President. Following the decision of former Commissioner Lord Hill on 25 June to resign from the European Commission, the Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union portfolio was transferred to Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis with effect from 16 July. On 7 July, the then Prime Minister Cameron informed President Juncker of his wish to nominate Sir Julian King as the member of the European Commission of British nationality. This wish was confirmed by Prime Minister Theresa May in her phone conversation with President Juncker on 14 July. President Juncker interviewed Sir Julian King on 11 July and in the course of the meeting and based on his biography, President Juncker confirmed Sir Julian King's European competencies as required under Article 17(3) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).
Following today's announcement by President Juncker of the portfolio allocation, the process will now follow Article 246(2) TFEU and point 6 of the Framework Agreement between the European Parliament and the European Commission.
An exchange of views between Sir Julian King and the relevant Committee of the European Parliament is expected to take place in early autumn.
In spite of the referendum in the United Kingdom of 23 June where a majority voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom is still a member of the European Union and thus entitled, under Article 17(4) TEU to send a Commissioner of British nationality to the European Commission.
Annex 1: Relevant Legal Provisions
Article 17, paragraph 3, subparagraphs 2 and 3 of the Treaty on European Union
The members of the Commission shall be chosen on the ground of their general competence and European commitment from persons whose independence is beyond doubt.
In carrying out its responsibilities, the Commission shall be completely independent. Without prejudice to Article 18(2), the members of the Commission shall neither seek nor take instructions from any Government or other institution, body, office or entity. They shall refrain from any action incompatible with their duties or the performance of their tasks.
Article 246, subparagraph 2, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
A vacancy caused by resignation, compulsory retirement or death shall be filled for the remainder of the Member's term of office by a new Member of the same nationality appointed by the Council, by common accord with the President of the Commission, after consulting the European Parliament and in accordance with the criteria set out in the second subparagraph of Article 17(3) of the Treaty on European Union.
Extract of the relevant provision from the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission:
PART II. POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY
(6) Where it becomes necessary to arrange for the replacement of a Member of the Commission during his/her term of office pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 246 TFEU, the President of the Commission will seriously consider the result of Parliament’s consultation before giving accord to the decision of the Council.
Parliament shall ensure that its procedures are conducted with the utmost dispatch, in order to enable the President of the Commission to seriously consider Parliament’s opinion before the new Member is appointed.
Similarly, pursuant to the third paragraph of Article 246 TFEU, when the remainder of the Commission’s term of office is short, the President of the Commission will seriously consider Parliament’s position.
Annex 2: CV of Sir Julian King attached