Press release

Prime Minister nominates Lord Hill for next European Commission

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

David Cameron has put Lord Hill forward as the UK candidate for the next European Commission, due to take office on 1 November 2014 and serve until 2009.

Lord Hill was previously Leader of the House of Lords and a member of the Cabinet, a post he was appointed to by the Prime Minister in January 2013. He also served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools in this government.

The Prime Minister has chosen Lord Hill because he combines substantial experience of working at the heart of government over many years with private sector experience, having founded his own company in 1998.

The Prime Minister said:

Lord Hill will bring an excellent combination of political and private sector experience to this role. Half his career has been spent in business, half in government at the highest levels, most recently doing an excellent job as Leader of the House of Lords where he has proven a skilled negotiator respected by all parties.

And having founded his own company, he also has a strong understanding of the private sector and how the EU can help businesses to generate growth and create jobs.

The Prime Minister called the Commission President elect, Jean-Claude Juncker, yesterday to nominate Lord Hill as UK Commissioner. Mr Juncker welcomed the extensive political experience that Lord Hill would bring to any role.

The nomination is supported by the Deputy Prime Minister who said:

Lord Hill’s experience and the respect he commands across all parties makes him the right candidate to be the UK’s next European Commissioner.

I have no doubt that he will promote British interests in Brussels by working constructively inside the European Commission and positively with our European partners.

Lord Hill said:

The European Union faces 2 great challenges. First, how to spread growth and jobs across Europe. Second, how to strengthen public support in many countries for the European Union.

The European Commission will have a vital role to play in delivering that change. So it’s a huge responsibility to have the opportunity to play a part in reforming the EU but it is one that I am excited to have been offered. I look forward to working with Jean Claude Juncker, other Member States and the European Parliament to achieve this change.

I also believe that the UK’s interests are best served by playing a leading role in the EU, shaping the organisation as it changes to meet the challenges it now faces. In 5 years time, when the next European elections take place, I want to be able to say to people across Europe – including Britain – that the European Commission has heeded their concerns and changed the EU for the better.

Notes to editors

About Lord Hill

Lord Hill was educated at Highgate School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied history. He was an adviser in Whitehall in the 1980s and 1990s. He worked at 3 government departments - Employment, Trade and Industry and Health - before joining the Number 10 Policy Unit in 1991. He was Political Secretary and Head of the Prime Minister’s Political Office from 1992 to 1994.

Lord Hill is married with 3 children. He was born on 24 July 1960.

Leader of the House of Lords

The Leader of the House is a member of the cabinet and the most senior member of the government in the Lords, responsible for its business in the House and leading a team of about 25 ministers and whips.

European Commission appointments process

The process for appointing members of the Commission, as set out in Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union, is as follows:

  1. Each EU member state proposes a candidate for the position of Commissioner.
  2. These names are submitted to the incoming President of the Commission who is responsible for the distribution of portfolios.
  3. The list of nominations is then, by common accord with the President-elect, adopted by the Council.
  4. The President, the High Representative and the other members of the Commission shall be subject as a body to a vote of consent by the European Parliament.
  5. On the basis of this consent, the Commission shall be appointed by the European Council, acting by a qualified majority.