European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, responsible for Budget and Human Resources, will be resigning after being offered the position of CEO of the World bank. Georgieva will start at the World Bank as of 2 January 2017. Georgieva’s resignation will take effect at the latest on 31 December 2016 (midnight), depending notably on the development of the ongoing budgetary negotiations.

Commenting on the resignation, President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “It is with great regret that I have accepted Kristalina Georgieva’s decision to resign from the European Commission. The fact that she has been asked to take a leading role in the World Bank is an acknowledgement and recognition of Kristalina Georgieva’s many talents and her professionalism. I sincerely congratulate her on this new role. Kristalina Georgieva has been an excellent Vice-President during the first two years of the Commission which I have the honour to preside. I have always been glad to rely on her determination to deliver, her strategic advice and her friendship. Kristalina Georgieva is an experienced politician for whom I have great respect and I want to thank her for her loyal and committed work as Vice-President of the European Commission. She will be greatly missed.”

Juncker has tasked Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner responsible for Digital Economy and Society, with Georgieva’s portfolio. “After the current Vice-Presidents, Günther H. Oettinger is the first Commissioner in seniority and protocol order in the Commission. Having been Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, one of the biggest Länder in Germany, and Vice-President in the previous European Commission, he can rely on extensive political experience and a good network of contacts in the European Parliament, the Member States and in Europe’s regions. I have therefore full confidence in his professionalism, capacity and expertise to assume this new responsibility,” Juncker said.

In line with the Interinstitutional Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission, Juncker as informed Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, of Georgieva’s resignation and of his intention to transfer her portfolio to Günther H. Oettinger. This should allow for the relevant parliamentary consultation to take place.

Until the date her resignation comes into effect Vice-President Georgieva will work closely with Günther H. Oettinger in order to allow for an orderly transition of responsibilities and the portfolio.

As regards the vacancy caused by the resignation of Kristalina Georgieva in the European Commission, Article 246 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) stipulates that this vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of her term of office by a Member of Bulgarian nationality, appointed by the Council, by common accord with the President of the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament. President Juncker stands ready to discuss swiftly with the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov potential names for a new Commissioner of Bulgarian nationality as well as the allocation of a possible portfolio.

Article 17(3) of the Treaty on European Union provides that Commissioners shall be chosen on the ground of their general competence and European commitment from persons whose independence is beyond doubt. Procedurally, the appointment of a new Commissioner of Bulgarian nationality requires common accord between the President of the Commission and the Council of Ministers after the consultation of the European Parliament (Article 246, subparagraph 2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). In addition, the Interinstitutional Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission requires the President of the Commission to “seriously consider” the results of the consultation of the European Parliament before giving his accord to the decision of the Council to appoint the new Commissioner (paragraph 6 of the Framework Agreement).