Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, responsible for Budget and Human Resources, has informed European Commission President Juncker of her decision to resign from her post as Member of the European Commission in order to take up a new responsibility, as of 2 January 2017, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), known collectively as the World Bank.
President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "It is with great regret that I have accepted Kristalina Georgieva's decision to resign from the European Commission. The fact that she has been asked to take a leading role in the World Bank is an acknowledgment and recognition of Kristalina Georgieva's many talents and her professionalism. I sincerely congratulate her on this new role. Kristalina Georgieva has been an excellent Vice-President during the first two years of the Commission which I have the honour to preside. I have always been glad to rely on her determination to deliver, her strategic advice and her friendship. Kristalina Georgieva is an experienced politician for whom I have great respect and I want to thank her for her loyal and committed work as Vice-President of the European Commission. She will be greatly missed.
The work of the European Commission must go on. I have therefore asked Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner responsible for Digital Economy and Society, to succeed Kristalina Georgieva in her portfolio. After the current Vice-Presidents, Günther H. Oettinger is the first Commissioner in seniority and protocol order in the Commission. Having been Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, one of the biggest Länder in Germany, and Vice-President in the previous European Commission, he can rely on extensive political experience and a good network of contacts in the European Parliament, the Member States and in Europe's regions. I have therefore full confidence in his professionalism, capacity and expertise to assume this new responsibility."
In line with the Interinstitutional Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission, President Juncker has informed Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, of Kristalina Georgieva's resignation and of his intention to transfer her portfolio to Günther H. Oettinger. This should allow for the relevant parliamentary consultation to take place (paragraph 7 of the Interinstitutional Framework Agreement). Kristalina Georgieva's resignation will take effect at the latest on 31 December 2016 (midnight), depending notably on the development of the ongoing budgetary negotiations. Until then, President Juncker has asked Vice-President Georgieva to work closely with Günther H. Oettinger in order to allow for an orderly transition of responsibilities and the portfolio.
As regards the vacancy caused by the resignation of Kristalina Georgieva in the European Commission, Article 246 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) stipulates that this vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of her term of office by a Member of Bulgarian nationality, appointed by the Council, by common accord with the President of the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament. President Juncker stands ready to discuss swiftly with the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov potential names for a new Commissioner of Bulgarian nationality as well as the allocation of a possible portfolio.
Article 17(3) of the Treaty on European Union provides that Commissioners shall be chosen on the ground of their general competence and European commitment from persons whose independence is beyond doubt. Procedurally, the appointment of a new Commissioner of Bulgarian nationality requires common accord between the President of the Commission and the Council of Ministers after the 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 requires the President of the Commission to “seriously consider” the results of the consultation of the European Parliament before giving his accord to the decision of the Council to appoint the new Commissioner (paragraph 6 of the Framework Agreement).
Extracts from the relevant legal texts
Extract of the relevant provision from the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission:
PART II. POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY – paragraph 7
(7) If the President of the Commission intends to reshuffle the allocation of responsibilities amongst the Members of the Commission during its term of office, pursuant to Article 248 TFEU, he/she shall inform Parliament in due time for the relevant parliamentary consultation with regard to those changes. The President's decision to reshuffle the portfolios can take effect immediately.
PART II. POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY – paragraph 6
(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.
Article 246 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, subparagraph 2
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.
Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union, paragraph 3
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.