Saturday

26th May 2018

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.

GDPR - a global 'gold standard'?

The new EU privacy rules are touted as a global 'gold standard' - but Mexico's former data commissioner warns some nations are far from ready.

New GDPR enforcer says complaints imminent

The European Data Protection Board is a new EU body tasked with enforcing the EU's privacy laws with powers to impose massive fines. Its head Andrea Jelinek told reporters complaints against companies are expected to be immediate.

Opinion

The dangers of resurgent nationalism in Greece

Virulent nationalism in Greece has been stirred up in the context of austerity and renewed negotiations with Macedonia. Recent attempts by the government to address the inequalities suffered by LGBT persons have also been met with a reactionary backlash.

News in Brief

  1. Italy set to pick eurosceptic finance minister
  2. UK foreign minister fooled by Russian pranksters
  3. Rajoy ally gets 33 years in jail for corruption
  4. Close race as polls open in Irish abortion referendum
  5. Gazprom accepts EU conditions on gas supplies
  6. Facebook tells MEPs: non-users are not profiled
  7. Commission proposes ending France deficit procedure
  8. UK households hit with Brexit income loss

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman requests more lending transparency from European Investment Bank
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  3. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  4. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  6. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  8. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  12. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach