The 28 member states of the European Union must nominate their candidates for the European Commission by next Thursday the 31st of July.
This year, for the first time and as a result of the Lisbon Treaty, the directly-elected body of the European Union, the European Parliament, has elected the President of the European Commission. The former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker (Who is Jean-Claude Juncker?), was nominated as the candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP), having beaten French Commissioner Michel Barnier at the EPP Congress in Dublin on the 7th of March.
The European Council (made up of the EU heads of government) nominated Juncker as a candidate for the presidency (despite opposition from Britain and Hungary), and he was elected President of the Commission by the European Parliament by 422 votes to 250 (47 abstentions and 10 invalid votes) on the 15th of July.
As President-elect of the Commission, it will be for Jean-Claude Juncker to appoint a High Representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and 26 European Commissioners (one from each member state, except those supplying the President of the Commission and the High Representative).
Ireland has already nominated Carlow-Kilkenny TD and former Minister for the Environment and Local Government, Phil Hogan. As with all other commissioners-designate and the High Representative-designate, he will, having been nominated by the Council of Ministers, submit himself to hearings at which MEPs can question his suitability as a Commissioner and the suitability of the Commission as a whole.
If the Parliament approves of the Commission as a whole, the new Commission will officially be appointed by the European Council on the 1st of November 2014.
It is also for Mr Juncker to decide which commissioner-designate will be assigned which portfolio. The portfolios are: