BRITAIN’s relationship with the EU is a complicated one especially now we are leaving, but who are the top Brussels bureaucrats? – ALICE FOSTER, EXPRESS
Who is Jean-Claude Juncker?
The President of the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, has refused to resign in the wake of the Brexit vote and chaos in Europe.
Mr Juncker served as prime minister of Luxembourg for nearly 20 years and took charge of the European Commission in 2014, despite UK opposition.
He failed to keep Britain in the EU and was one of the key players in working out a controversial deal for Britain earlier this year.
Mr Juncker’s red lines in talks were the integrity of the single market and free movement, plus the possibility of bringing more of Europe into the Eurozone.
Concerns over the free movement of people and immigration defined the EU referendum campaign.
The President of the European Council – a summit of leaders of EU member states – helped to strike a draft deal aimed at keeping the UK in the EU in February 2016.
The former Polish prime minister, a pragmatic centralist, played a key role in the “challenging negotiations” which finally secured approval for the deal at an EU summit.
He served as the prime minister of Poland from 2007 to 2014 before taking on his current role as President of the European Council in late 2014.
But before the EU referendum, Mr Tusk warned that the long-term consequences of Brexit were “dangerous” and “completely unpredictable”.
3. Who is Frans Timmermans?
The First Vice President of the European Commission has been engaged in negotiations with British government officials for a long time.
The former Dutch foreign minister actually supports the UK’s drive for greater competitiveness and has pledged to cut the EU’s red tape.
The commissioner has launched a ‘better regulation’ agenda, which aims to improve the EU law-making process.
Mr Timmermans became Mr Juncker’s right-hand man in the European Commission in 2014 after having served in both the Dutch Parliament and civil service.
His portfolio includes better regulation, inter-institutional relations, the rule of law and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
4. Who is Martin Schulz?
The President of the European Parliament is an outspoken politician and a fierce critic of Cameron’s efforts to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the EU.
The veteran German politician argued that the UK’s demands tested the patience of the EU and said Britain should be allowed to quit if it wants to.
Mr Schulz said he was not shocked by the Brexit victory, but has urged the UK to leave the bloc as soon as possible in order to end uncertainty.
The MEP was first elected as European Parliament President in 2012 after serving as leader of the group of Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.
He is one of the leading federalists in the EU and has been an MEP since 1994.
5. Who is Mario Draghihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Draghi?
The President of the European Central Bank has been responsible for dealing with the fallout from the Eurozone’s debt crisis.
Mr Draghi, who took on the role in 2011, previously worked at Goldman Sachs and the World Bank, as well as serving as governor of the Bank of Italy.
The Italian economist and banker was ranked eighth on a list of the world’s most powerful people published by Forbes in 2014.
During his time as general director of the Italian Treasury from 1991 to 2001, Mr Draghi played a role in reducing Italy’s public debt.
He has earned the nickname “Super Mario”.
6. Who is Federica Mogherini?
The EU’s foreign affairs chief, known as the High Representative, works on issues such as the migration crisis, Iran’s nuclear policy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The former Italian foreign minister is a centre-left politician and also serves as Vice President of the European Commission under Mr Juncker.
Ms Mogherini spoke about the need to bring peace to war-torn Syria during the Syrian donor conference in London in February 2016.
The politician, born in Rome, was elected as a member of the Italian Parliament in 2008 and served as Italian minister of foreign affairs in 2014.