Who, within the governance structures of the European Union, has the power to remove a European Commissioner?

I think the European Parliament can remove the entire Commission via vote of no confidence (majority and 2/3rd voting IIRC?).

Can anyone else act similarly?


The only ways for a member of the Commission to lose their post before the end of the Commission’s five-year term are (according to TFEU, article 246) if they die, resign, or are compulsorily retired. The President of the Commission can force any member to resign, and the European Parliament can force the whole Commission to resign by a vote of no confidence. Compulsory retirement happens when the Court of Justice decides (on application by the Commission or the Council) that a member of the Commission is either unfit for office or is guilty of “serious misconduct”.

As a special case, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy – who, by virtue of their office, acts as a member of the European Commission, too – can be removed from office by the European Council. The European Council also appoints the High Representative.

  • Does "forced to resign" mean the same as "sacked but with a full pension"? – Andrew Morton Apr 19 at 18:48
  • @Andrew Morton: It can certainly be described as a sacking. Whether a former Commission member is entitled to a pension, and how much, depends on their time spent in office; so, if they resign during their first term, they may not get a pension (but in any case transitional payments for a certain time). – chirlu Apr 19 at 19:01

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