EU Presidents – who does what?

4th October 2019


The 3 main institutions of the EU are each headed by a president.

European Parliament president – David-Maria Sassoli

David-Maria Sassoli
Term: July 2019 - December 2021
Elected by: Members of the European Parliament
  • Ensures parliamentary procedures are properly followed
  • Oversees Parliament's various activities and committees
  • Represents Parliament in all legal matters and in its international relations
  • Gives final assent to the EU budget

European Council president – Donald Tusk

Donald Tusk
Term: June 2017 - November 2019
Appointed by: national leaders (heads of state or government of EU countries).
  • Leads the European Council's work in setting the EU's general political direction and priorities – in cooperation with the Commission
  • Promotes cohesion and consensus within the European Council
  • Represents the EU externally on foreign and security issues

European Commission president – Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker
Term: November 2014 - October 2019
Appointed by: national leaders (heads of state or government of EU countries), with the approval of the European Parliament.
  • Gives political guidance to the Commission
  • Calls and chairs meetings of the college of the Commissioners
  • Leads the Commission's work in implementing EU policies
  • Takes part in G7 meetings
  • Contributes to major debates both in the European Parliament and between EU governments in the Council of the European Union

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Council of the EU - where national ministers discuss EU legislation - doesn't have a permanent, single-person president. Its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months. For example, representatives from the presidency country chair its meetings.
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