Commissioner Lord Hill, responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union, has informed European Commission President Juncker of his decision to resign from his post as European Commissioner.
President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “It is with great regret that I have accepted Lord Hill’s decision to resign from the European Commission. Lord Hill is an experienced politician for whom I have great respect and I want to sincerely thank him for his loyal and professional work as a member of my team.
At the beginning of this Commission’s mandate, I wanted the British Commissioner to be in charge of Financial Services, as a sign of my confidence in the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. To my great regret, this situation is now changing. I have tried to convince Lord Hill to stay on as Commissioner. I consider him to be a true European and not just the British Commissioner. However, I understand his decision and I respect it.
The work of the European Union must go on. After having spoken with Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, I have asked Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, to take over the portfolio for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union. In his role as Vice-President, Valdis Dombrovskis is already coordinating many of the key files under this portfolio, working closely with other Commissioners, the European Parliament and the Council on several important legislative proposals in this area, such as the European Deposit Insurance Scheme. With his experience, expertise and his good network amongst Members of the European Parliament, Finance Ministers and Prime Ministers, Vice-President Dombrovskis is ideally placed to ensure continuity in the Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union portfolio.”
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 Lord Hill’s resignation and of his intention to transfer the portfolio to Vice-President Dombrovskis in order to allow for the relevant parliamentary consultation to take place (paragraph 17 of the Interinstitutional Framework Agreement). Lord Hill’s resignation will take effect on 15 July (midnight), while President Juncker’s decision to transfer his portfolio will take effect on 16 July. This will allow for an orderly transition of this important portfolio.
Under the EU Treaties, there should be one Commissioner per Member State in the Commission. President Juncker stands ready to discuss swiftly with the British Prime Minister potential names for a Commissioner of UK 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 UK nationality requires common accord between the President of the Commission and the Council of Ministers after the consultation of the European Parliament (Article 246, sub-paragraph 2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). In addition, the InterinstitutionalFramework 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 (para 6 of the Framework Agreement).
Relevant Treaty Provisions
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.
Article 246 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, sub-paragraph 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.
Extract of the relevant provision from the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission:
PART II. POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY
Paragraphs 6 and 7:
(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.
(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.