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The 3 main institutions of the EU are each headed by a president.

European Parliament president – David-Maria Sassoli

David Maria Sassoli

Term: July 2019 - December 2021

Elected by: Members of the European Parliament


  • Ensures parliamentary procedures are properly followed
  • Oversees Parliament's various activities and committees
  • Represents Parliament in all legal matters and in its international relations
  • Gives final assent to the EU budget

More on the President of the European Parliament's job

More on the European Parliament

European Council president – Charles Michel

Charles Michel

Term: December 2019 - May 2022

Appointed by: national leaders (heads of state or government of EU countries).


  • Leads the European Council's work in setting the EU's general political direction and priorities – in cooperation with the Commission
  • Promotes cohesion and consensus within the European Council
  • Represents the EU externally on foreign and security issues

More on the President of the European Council's job

More on the European Council

European Commission president – Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen

Term: December 2019 - October 2024

Appointed by: national leaders (heads of state or government of EU countries), with the approval of the European Parliament.


  • Gives political guidance to the Commission
  • Calls and chairs meetings of the college of the Commissioners
  • Leads the Commission's work in implementing EU policies
  • Takes part in G7 meetings
  • Contributes to major debates both in the European Parliament and between EU governments in the Council of the European Union

More on the Commission President's job

More on the European Commission

More on how Commissioners are appointed

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Council of the EU - where national ministers discuss EU legislation - doesn't have a permanent, single-person president. Its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months. For example, representatives from the presidency country chair its meetings.

More about the Council of the EU

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