President of the European Commission

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President of the European Commission
Emblem of the commission
Ursula von der Leyen

since 1 December 2019
European Commission
StatusHead of an Institution
Member of
Reports to
ResidenceBerlaymont building
SeatBrussels, Belgium
NominatorEuropean Council
AppointerEuropean Parliament
Term lengthFive years, renewable
Constituting instrumentTreaties of the European Union
Formation1 January 1958
First holderWalter Hallstein
DeputyFirst Vice-President of the European Commission
Salary306,655 annually[2]

The President of the European Commission is the head of the European Commission. It is the executive branch of the European Union. The President of the Commission leads a cabinet of Commissioners. The President, is chosen by the Council and Parliament, and decides (with each country) who the other members are and what they do.

Background[change | change source]

The President of the Commission also represents the EU abroad, together with the President of the European Council and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The post was established in 1958. Each new President is nominated by the European Council and formally elected by the European Parliament, for a five-year term.

The current President is Ursula von der Leyen, who took office on 1st December 2019. She is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and is the former minister of defence of Germany.

Headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels (Berlaymont building)

List of presidents[change | change source]

Commission of the European Economic Community (1958–1967)[change | change source]

Portrait Name
Term of office Tenure Commission Party Group Country
Walter Hallstein
1 January 1958 5 July 1967 9 years, 185 days Hallestein CDU CD  West Germany

Commission of the European Communities (1967–2009) and European Commission (2009–present)[change | change source]


  European People's Party   ALDE Party/ELDR Party   Party of European Socialists   European Progressive Democrats

Portrait Name
Term of office Tenure Commission Party Group Country Electoral mandate
Jean Rey
5 July 1967 1 July 1970 2 years, 361 days Rey PRL LIB  Belgium
Franco Maria Malfatti
1 July 1970 1 March 1972 1 year, 244 days Malfatti DC CD  Italy
Sicco Mansholt
1 March 1972 5 January 1973 310 days Mansholt PvdA SOC  Netherlands
François-Xavier Ortoli
5 January 1973 5 January 1977 4 years Ortoli UDR EPD  France
Roy Jenkins
5 January 1977 19 January 1981 4 years, 14 days Jenkins Lab SOC  United Kingdom 1979
Gaston Thorn
19 January 1981 6 January 1985 3 years, 353 days Thorn DP LD  Luxembourg
Jacques Delors
6 January 1985 24 January 1995 10 years, 18 days Delors PS SOC  France 1984
Jacques Santer
(born 1937)
24 January 1995 15 March 1999[a] 4 years, 50 days Santer CSV EPP  Luxembourg 1994
Manuel Marín (interim)
15 March 1999 17 September 1999 186 days Santer PSOE SOC  Spain
Romano Prodi
(born 1939)
17 September 1999 22 November 2004 5 years, 66 days Prodi Dem ELDR  Italy 1999
José Manuel Barroso
(born 1956)
22 November 2004 1 November 2014 9 years, 344 days Barroso PSD EPP  Portugal 2004
Jean-Claude Juncker
(born 1954)
1 November 2014 30 November 2019 5 years, 29 days Juncker CSV EPP  Luxembourg 2014
Ursula von der Leyen
(born 1958)
1 December 2019 Incumbent 4 years, 120 days von der Leyen CDU EPP  Germany 2019

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Santer resigned before his mandate expired. His commission served in caretaker capacity under Marín till September. Replaced by Prodi, who completed Santer's mandate to 22 January 2000, when they were reappointed on their own mandate.

References[change | change source]

  1. English Style Guide: A handbook for authors and translators in the European Commission (PDF) (8 ed.). European Commission. October 2019. p. 119. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  2. "European Commission salaries" (PDF). European Voice (Supplement: The Companion to the European Commission). Politico: 56. February 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.

Other websites[change | change source]