Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commision, has appointed Great Britain’s new Commissioner Sir Julian King. Mr King will be in charge of the European Union’s anti-terror strategy but his appointment must still be approved by the European Parliament. Although MEPs have been consulted regarding his choice, Mr King will likely go through the challenging times in light of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
Sir King will replace Mr Jonathan Hill who resigned from his position after the Brexit referendum. Mr King is the former UK ambassador to France and Ireland and his agenda as an EU Commissioner will focus on the Security Strategy that was published in April this year following the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. The Security Union is a newly created agenda that seeks to push a common European approach to the fight against terrorism. Mr Juncker commented on the agenda that “The European Union is in one of the most testing periods in its history,” while also stressing that “We have to cope with the refugee crisis, with the aftermath of the UK referendum and with the increased threat of terrorism.”
While there were speculations that the UK might now get a peripheral agenda as a punishment for Brexit, London welcomed this decision. “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,” UK government spokesperson commented. He added that the UK was still entitled to a European Commissioner because as it still is a full member “with all rights and obligations”. The UK government has not yet triggered Article 50 of the EU treaty that starts the legal process of withdrawing from the bloc. The process can take up to two years and once Britain leaves, Mr King’s mandate will expire.