• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

PM Cameron nominates diplomat Julian King as new EU Commissioner

Extraordinary EU Summit

Britain has nominated its current ambassador to France, Julian King, to become the country’s new representative at the European Commission, replacing Jonathan Hill who resigned in June after Britons voted to leave the bloc.

While British Prime Minister David Cameron has been keen to replace Hill, EU sources have said the bloc’s lawmakers could block any appointment as long as Britain failed to bind itself into the tight.

“Sir Julian King is an experienced diplomat, he has got particular expertise in European affairs and the prime minister thinks he will make a strong addition to the commission,’’ Cameron’s spokeswoman told newsmen.

The spokeswoman said Britain currently remained a full paying member of the EU and its priority was to fill what it considered to be an important role.

King previously served in Brussels, representing a political and security committee during the UK’s EU presidency in 2005 and later working under the British commissioner in 2008 to 2009.

He has also served as the UK ambassador to Ireland.

A spokeswoman for the EU executive said King would be interviewed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday to assess his qualifications for the job.

She declined to give more details on what policy portfolio King might take on.

“The purpose of the interview will be to determine the candidates’ ability to serve as a European Commissioner particularly in light of the treaty of the EU,’’ she told newsmen in Brussels.

The EU treaty states that commissioners should be chosen on the grounds of their general competence and European commitment from persons whose independence is beyond a doubt.