List of presidents of the institutions of the European Union

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This is a list of presidents of the institutions of the European Union (EU). Each of the institutions 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.

Current office holders[edit]

President of the European Council
Herman Van Rompuy Institution European Council The duty of the European Council president is primarily that of preparing and chairing the meetings of the European Council. The position became 30-month appointed position, elected by the members of the European Council, in 2009 by virtue of the Treaty of Lisbon. Before, it rotated around between the head of state or government of the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (see below). This longer term 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."[1]
Current holder Herman Van Rompuy
State  Belgium
Party European People's Party
Since 1 December 2009
President of the European Commission
José Manuel Barroso Institution European Commission 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. 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]
Current holder José Manuel Barroso
State  Portugal
Party European People's Party
Since 23 November 2004
Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Lithuania Institution Council of Ministers The Presidency of the Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers) is rotated between member states of every 6 months. The Council is composed of the relevant national ministers depending on the topic being discussed with minister from the state holding the presidency charing. The country holding the Presidency is able to affect the overall policy direction for the six months. 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.
Current holder  Greece
President Antonis Samaras
Party European People's Party
Since 1 January 2014
President of the European Parliament
Martin Schulz Institution European Parliament 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, but also represents the Parliament externally and vis a vis the other institutions, which is a more political role.
Current holder Martin Schulz
State  Germany
Party Party of European Socialists
Since 17 January 2012

Historic office holders[edit]

Conservative/Christian Democrat Socialist Liberal/Centrist Communist Independent
Year President of the
European Commission
President of the
European Council
President of the
European Parliament
Presidency of the
Council of the European Union
President of the
European Court of Justice
1958 1: Walter Hallstein (I)   1: Robert Schuman  Belgium 1: André Donner
 West Germany
1959  France
1960 2: Hans Furler  Luxembourg
1961  Belgium
 West Germany
1962 1: Walter Hallstein (II) 3: Gaetano Martino  France
1963  Luxembourg
1964 4: Jean Duvieusart  Belgium 2: Charles Léon Hammes
 West Germany
1965 5: Victor Leemans  France
1966 6: Alain Poher  Luxembourg
1967  Belgium 3: Robert Lecourt
2: Jean Rey  West Germany
1968  France
1969 7: Mario Scelba  Luxembourg
1970  Belgium
3: Franco Maria Malfatti  West Germany
1971 8: Walter Behrendt  France
1972 4: Sicco Mansholt  Luxembourg
1973 5: François-Xavier Ortoli 9: Cornelis Berkhouwer  Belgium
1974  West Germany
1975 Liam Cosgrave 10: Georges Spénale  Ireland
Aldo Moro  Italy
1976 Gaston Thorn  Luxembourg 4: Hans Kutscher
Joop den Uyl  Netherlands
1977 6: Roy Jenkins James Callaghan 11: Emilio Colombo  United Kingdom
Leo Tindemans  Belgium
1978 Anker Jørgensen  Denmark
Helmut Schmidt  West Germany
1979 Valéry Giscard d'Estaing  France
Jack Lynch 1: Simone Veil  Ireland
Charles Haughey  Ireland
1980 Francesco Cossiga  Italy 5: Josse Mertens de Wilmars
Pierre Werner  Luxembourg
1981 7: Gaston Thorn Dries van Agt  Netherlands
Margaret Thatcher  United Kingdom
1982 Wilfried Martens 2: Piet Dankert  Belgium
Anker Jørgensen  Denmark
Poul Schlüter  Denmark
1983 Helmut Kohl  West Germany
Andreas Papandreou  Greece
1984 François Mitterrand 3: Pierre Pflimlin  France 6: Alexander Mackenzie Stuart
Garret FitzGerald  Ireland
1985 Bettino Craxi  Italy
Jacques Santer  Luxembourg
1986 8: Jacques Delors (I) Ruud Lubbers  Netherlands
Margaret Thatcher  United Kingdom
1987 Wilfried Martens 4: Henry Plumb  Belgium
Poul Schlüter  Denmark
1988 Helmut Kohl  West Germany 7: Ole Due
Andreas Papandreou  Greece
1989 8: Jacques Delors (II) Felipe González  Spain
François Mitterrand 5: Enrique Barón Crespo  France
1990 Charles Haughey  Ireland
Giulio Andreotti  Italy
1991 Jacques Santer  Luxembourg
Ruud Lubbers  Netherlands
1992 Aníbal Cavaco Silva 6: Egon Klepsch  Portugal
John Major  United Kingdom
1993 8: Jacques Delors (III) Poul Schlüter  Denmark
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen  Denmark
Jean-Luc Dehaene  Belgium
1994 Andreas Papandreou  Greece 8: Gil Carlos Rodríguez Iglesias
Helmut Kohl 7: Klaus Hänsch  Germany
1995 9: Jacques Santer François Mitterrand  France
Jacques Chirac  France
Felipe González  Spain
1996 Lamberto Dini  Italy
Romano Prodi  Italy
John Bruton  Ireland
1997 Wim Kok 8: José María Gil-Robles  Netherlands
Jean-Claude Juncker  Luxembourg
1998 Tony Blair  United Kingdom
Viktor Klima  Austria
1999 Gerhard Schröder  Germany
10: Manuel Marín
11: Romano Prodi Paavo Lipponen 9: Nicole Fontaine  Finland
2000 António Guterres  Portugal
Jacques Chirac  France
2001 Göran Persson  Sweden
Guy Verhofstadt  Belgium
2002 José María Aznar López 10: Pat Cox  Spain
Anders Fogh Rasmussen  Denmark
2003 Costas Simitis  Greece 9: Vassilios Skouris
Term expires 31 Oct 2014
Silvio Berlusconi  Italy
2004 Bertie Ahern  Ireland
12: José Manuel Barroso (I) Jan Peter Balkenende 11: Josep Borrell  Netherlands
2005 Jean-Claude Juncker  Luxembourg
Tony Blair  United Kingdom
2006 Wolfgang Schüssel  Austria
Matti Vanhanen  Finland
2007 Angela Merkel 12: Hans-Gert Pöttering T1  Germany
José Sócrates  Portugal
2008 Janez Janša  Slovenia
Nicolas Sarkozy T2  France
2009 Mirek Topolánek  Czech Republic
Jan Fischer  Czech Republic
Fredrik Reinfeldt 13: Jerzy Buzek  Sweden
2010 12: José Manuel Barroso (II)
Term expires 31 Oct 2014
1. Herman Van Rompuy
Term expires 30 Nov 2014
T3  Spain
2011  Hungary
T4  Poland
2012 14: Martin Schulz
Term expires 17 July 2014
2013 T5  Ireland
2014  Greece
T6  Italy

Other institutions[edit]

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 Mario Draghi.


External links[edit]