The appointment of the president of the EU Commission: some legal and political aspects

Konstantinos Margaritis


The 2014 European Parliament elections introduced a brand new process within the institutional framework of the European Union with reference to the appointment of the President of the Commission. After the Lisbon amendment, article 17, par. 7 TEU replaced article 214, par. 2 TEU with the major change being related to the impact of the elections results in the whole process. In particular, article 17, par. 7 states that those results shall be taken into account by the European Council when proposing to the European Parliament the candidate for the Commission’s Presidency.

At the same time, the process of nomination of the Commission’s President is historically pervaded by the parliamentary system, common to the very majority of the member states. This study aims to understand how this new procedure was interpreted by relevant actors with respect to the binding effect of the elections results, by analyzing the latest (and only) case, the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker. In addition, on the ground of this outcome, to enlighten certain legal and political aspects about the impact of article 17, par. 7 on the enhancement of democratic principles in EU by examining the principles of the parliamentary system, as well as its effect to the European identity as a significant feature of the integration process.

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