Saturday

29th Apr 2017

UK gets top security role in EU commission

  • Juncker wants UK's Julian King to take charge of security in the EU as a new EU commissioner (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

Britain has been handed a top security role at the European Commission despite its patchy participation in the field of justice and home affairs at the EU level.

UK's Julian King is now set to become the EU commissioner designate in charge of the "security union".

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

If confirmed, he will be tasked to help tackle terrorism and other security threats like cybercrime and radicalisation throughout the EU.

His portfolio was announced on Tuesday (2 August) by EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

"I want the Commission which I preside to be a strong and political team. And I want you, with your political skills and experience, to fully play your part in this team," said Juncker in his mission letter to King.

King is replacing Jonathan Hill who resigned as financial stability commissioner in the wake of UK's referendum to leave the EU.

King was appointed to the Brussels-executive seat by David Cameron before he too resigned as prime minister.

The career diplomat, who is married to a senior EU commission official who has worked on counter-terrorism issues, is currently the UK's outgoing ambassador to France.

The EU commission, for its part, is playing down his nationality given the broader concerns over Britain's decision to leave the EU after an often 43-year tumultuous membership.

"He is not a commissioner from the UK. He will be a European Commissioner if confirmed," Mina Andreeva, a chief commission spokeswoman, told reporters in Brussels.

Andreeva said King's role will be, in part, to get EU states to better coordinate and share information in their counter-terrorism efforts.

King will have a "special advisor" contract once his role is formally accepted by the European Parliament in autumn.

Liberal group leader Guy Verhofstadt has already described King's security portfolio as odd.

"The country has a long-standing opt-out from justice and home affairs measures, the crucial policy area if one is serious about building a European anti-terrorism capacity," he said in a statement.

A Downing street spokesperson said in a statement that security is an issue best tackled with better cooperation across EU states.

"Security is a vital issue for all member states and co-operation across the EU can help to better protect us all from the range of threats we face," said the spokesperson.

King will report to EU commission vice-president Frans Timmermans and EU home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.

UK's EU commissioner resigns

The UK's commissioner to the EU, responsible for financial markets, has resigned. The move is to prompt reshuffle of portfolios and questions on who London might send to replace him.

EU starts legal action against Hungary

The EU Commission is to launch a legal probe into Hungary's attack on a Soros-funded university, but Hungary's Orban was unrepentant the he faced MEPs.

European states still top media freedom list

Nordic countries Norway, Sweden and Finland still have the world's most free media, according to Reporters Without Borders, but the overall situation is declining.

News in Brief

  1. Vote of no confidence prepared against Spanish PM
  2. Syria to buy Russian anti-missile system
  3. Germany seeks partial burka ban
  4. Libya has no plan to stop migration flows
  5. EU has no evidence of NGO-smuggler collusion in Libya
  6. Poland gets 'final warning' on logging in ancient forest
  7. Commission gives Italy final warning on air pollution
  8. Romania and Slovenia taken to court over environment policies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCharlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum Tells Kids to "Eat Well, Drink Well, Move!"
  2. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  3. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act on Climate Change
  4. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  5. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  7. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  8. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  9. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  10. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  11. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  12. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process