President of the European Commission

highest official and leader of the European Commission, the institution that holds the executive power of the European Union

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.

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]

Background change

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

Commission of the European Economic Community (1958–1967) change

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


  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, 170 days von der Leyen CDU EPP   Germany 2019

Notes change

  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

  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