List of presidents of European Union institutions: Wikis


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European Union
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This article is part of the series:
History of the
European Union

See also
History of Europe
Enlargement - Treaties
Timeline - Presidents

This is a list of presidents of European Union institutions. Each institution of the European Union (EU) is headed by a president or a presidency, with some being more prominent than others. Most go back to 1957 but others, such as the Presidents of the Court of Auditors or the Central Bank have been created recently.


Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Logo of the presidency

The Presidency of the Council of the European Union (aka Council of Ministers or just Council) is rotated between member states of the European Union every six months. The Council is composed of the relevant national ministers depending on the topic being discussed. The minister from the state holding the presidency chairs the Council. As a result, the country holding the Presidency is able to affect the overall policy direction of the Union for the six month mandate. Since 2007, the Presidency has been co-ordinated every 18 months by three countries (a "triplet"), though one still takes a lead position every 6 months.

There is usually a national minister in charge of a member's presidency, usually the foreign minister, who is the President of the Council of the European Union. For the first half of 2010, the state holding the presidency is Spain with Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, as its responsible minister.

President of the European Council

Herman van Rompuy

Before 1 December 2009, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union also applied to the European Council. The head of state or government of the country holding the Presidency was also the chair of the council.

Under the Treaty of Lisbon the position became a 30-month appointed position, elected by the members of the European Council; though it saw no change in its powers. This new office of President of the European Council has been described directly by some as a new "President of the European Union". According to the Financial Times, "the president would have few formal powers, but would give the EU strategic leadership and represent the bloc on the world stage on issues such as climate change, bilateral relations and development." The media also states that the new posts are likely to come into being in 2009 along with the rest of a new treaty.[1]

Herman van Rompuy became the first permanent President on 1 December 2009. The duty of the President is primarily that of preparing and chairing the meetings of the council.

President of the European Commission

José Manuel Barroso

The President of the European Commission is head of the 27-member college of Commissioners. The Commission's responsibilities include drafting legislative proposals and managing the day to day running of the EU. It is also responsible for a degree of the EU's external representation, for example attending G8 meetings. The Commission President is proposed by the European Council, who take account of the previous European Elections, before being elected by the European Parliament for a five year mandate. The Current President is José Manuel Barroso (Barroso Commission).

Some Presidents have become known as the Founding fathers of the European Union and it has been described by some as the "President of the European Union" but a more common analogy is "Prime Minister of the European Union" given the style of position over a cabinet government.[2]

President of the European Parliament

Jerzy Buzek

The President of the European Parliament presides over the plenary of the Parliament, which is one half of the legislative branch of the Union. The President also chairs the Bureau and Conference of Presidents as well as representing the Parliament. The President's role is similar to that of a speaker in a national parliament. The current President is Jerzy Buzek.

Other institutions

The President of the European Court of Justice is elected from among the judges every three years (renewable term). The president presides over hearings and deliberations, directing judicial business and administration (for example, the time table of the Court and Grand Chamber). He or she also assigns cases to the chambers for inquiries and appoints a judge as a rapporteur.[3] The current President is Vassilios Skouris.

The President of the European Court of Auditors is elected by among the other members for a renewable three year term and is currently led by Vítor Manuel da Silva Caldeira.

The President of the European Central Bank is appointed by the Council for an eight year term, and is currently headed by Jean-Claude Trichet.


Conservative Socialist Liberal Independent Green
Year President of the
European Commission
President of the
European Council
Presidency of the
Council of the European Union
President of the
European Parliament
Member state President
1958 1: Walter Hallstein (I)    Belgium Victor Larock 1: Robert Schuman
 Germany Siegfried Balke
1959  France Maurice Couve de Murville
 Italy Giuseppe Pella
1960  Luxembourg Eugène Schaus 2: Hans Furler
 Netherlands Joseph Luns
1961  Belgium Paul-Henri Spaak
 Germany Gerhard Schröder
1962 1: Walter Hallstein (II)  France Maurice Couve de Murville 3: Gaetano Martino
 Italy Emilio Colombo
1963  Luxembourg Eugène Schaus
 Netherlands Joseph Luns
1964  Belgium Hendrik Fayat 4: Jean Pierre Duvieusart
 Germany Gerhard Schröder
1965  France Maurice Couve de Murville 5: Victor Leemans
 Italy Amintore Fanfani
1966  Luxembourg Pierre Werner 6: Alain Poher
 Netherlands Barend Biesheuvel
1967  Belgium Renaat Van Elslande
2: Jean Rey  Germany Willy Brandt
1968  France Maurice Couve de Murville
 Italy Giuseppe Medici
1969  Luxembourg Pierre Grégoire 7: Mario Scelba
 Netherlands Joseph Luns
1970  Belgium Pierre Harmel
3: Franco Maria Malfatti  Germany Walter Scheel
1971  France Maurice Schumann 8: Walter Behrendt
 Italy Aldo Moro
1972 4: Sicco Mansholt  Luxembourg Gaston Thorn
 Netherlands Norbert Schmelzer
1973 5: François-Xavier Ortoli  Belgium Pierre Harmel 9: Cornelis Berkhouwer
 Denmark Ivar Nørgaard
1974  Germany Walter Scheel
 France Jean Sauvagnargues
1975 Liam Cosgrave  Ireland Garret FitzGerald 10: Georges Spénale
Aldo Moro  Italy Mariano Rumor
1976 Gaston Thorn  Luxembourg Gaston Thorn
Joop den Uyl  Netherlands Max van der Stoel
1977 6: Roy Jenkins James Callaghan  United Kingdom Anthony Crosland 11: Emilio Colombo
David Owen
Jack Lynch  Belgium Henri Simonet
1978 Anker Jørgensen  Denmark Knud Børge Andersen
Helmut Schmidt  Germany Hans-Dietrich Genscher
1979 Valéry Giscard d'Estaing  France Jean François-Poncet
Jack Lynch  Ireland Michael O'Kennedy 1: Simone Veil
1980 Francesco Cossiga  Italy Attilio Ruffini
Pierre Werner  Luxembourg Colette Flesch
1981 7: Gaston Thorn Dries van Agt  Netherlands Chris van der Klaauw
Margaret Thatcher  United Kingdom Peter Carrington
1982 Wilfried Martens  Belgium Leo Tindemans 2: Piet Dankert
Poul Schlüter  Denmark Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
1983 Helmut Kohl  Germany Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Andreas Papandreou  Greece Grigoris Varfis
1984 François Mitterrand  France Roland Dumas 3: Pierre Pflimlin
Garret FitzGerald  Ireland Peter Barry
1985 Bettino Craxi  Italy Giulio Andreotti
Jacques Santer  Luxembourg Jacques Poos
1986 8: Jacques Delors (I) Ruud Lubbers  Netherlands Leo Tindemans
Margaret Thatcher  United Kingdom Geoffrey Howe
1987 Wilfried Martens  Belgium Leo Tindemans 4: Henry Plumb
Poul Schlüter  Denmark Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
1988 Helmut Kohl  Germany Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Andreas Papandreou  Greece Theodoros Pangalos
1989 8: Jacques Delors (II) Felipe González  Spain Francisco Fernández Ordóñez
François Mitterrand  France Roland Dumas 5: Enrique Barón Crespo
1990 Charles Haughey  Ireland Gerry Collins
Giulio Andreotti  Italy Gianni De Michelis
1991 Jacques Santer  Luxembourg Jacques Poos
Ruud Lubbers  Netherlands Hans van den Broek
1992 Aníbal Cavaco Silva  Portugal João de Deus Pinheiro 6: Egon Klepsch
John Major  United Kingdom Douglas Hurd
1993 8: Jacques Delors (III) Poul Nyrup Rasmussen  Denmark Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
Jean-Luc Dehaene  Belgium Willy Claes
1994 Andreas Papandreou  Greece Karolos Papoulias
Helmut Kohl  Germany Klaus Kinkel 7: Klaus Hänsch
1995 9: Jacques Santer Jacques Chirac  France Alain Juppé
Felipe González  Spain Javier Solana
1996 Romano Prodi  Italy Lamberto Dini
John Bruton  Ireland Dick Spring
1997 Wim Kok  Netherlands Hans van Mierlo 8: José María Gil-Robles
Jean-Claude Juncker  Luxembourg Jacques Poos
1998 Tony Blair  United Kingdom Robin Cook
Viktor Klima  Austria Wolfgang Schüssel
1999 Gerhard Schröder  Germany Joschka Fischer
10: Manuel Marín
11: Romano Prodi Paavo Lipponen  Finland Tarja Halonen 9: Nicole Fontaine
2000 António Guterres  Portugal Jaime Gama
Jacques Chirac  France Hubert Védrine
2001 Göran Persson  Sweden Anna Lindh
Guy Verhofstadt  Belgium Louis Michel
2002 José María Aznar López  Spain Josep Piqué i Camps 10: Pat Cox
Anders Fogh Rasmussen  Denmark Per Stig Møller
2003 Costas Simitis  Greece George Papandreou
Silvio Berlusconi  Italy Franco Frattini
2004 Bertie Ahern  Ireland Bertie Ahern
12: José Manuel Barroso (I) Jan Peter Balkenende  Netherlands Bernard Bot 11: Josep Borrell
2005 Jean-Claude Juncker  Luxembourg Jean Asselborn
Tony Blair  United Kingdom Jack Straw
2006 Wolfgang Schüssel  Austria Ursula Plassnik
Matti Vanhanen  Finland Matti Vanhanen
2007 Angela Merkel T1  Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier 12: Hans-Gert Pöttering
José Sócrates  Portugal Luís Amado
2008 Janez Janša  Slovenia Dimitrij Rupel
Nicolas Sarkozy T2  France Bernard Kouchner
2009 Mirek Topolánek  Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg
Jan Fischer Jan Kohout
Fredrik Reinfeldt  Sweden Cecilia Malmström 13: Jerzy Buzek
2010 12: José Manuel Barroso (II) 1. Herman van Rompuy T3  Spain Miguel Ángel Moratinos


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