Michel Barnier is Special Adviser to the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker on matters of security and defence. In 2016 the Commission appointed Barnier as Chief Negotiator in charge of the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50. Previously, as Vice-Chairman of the European People’s Party’s he led work on European defence and security matters. Between 1993 and 2005 Barnier held several ministerial roles in the French government, including Minister of Environment (1993-1995), European affairs (1995-1997) and Foreign affairs (2004-2005). From 1999 to 2004, he was European Commissioner for Regional policy and Institutional Reform and in 2007 he was appointed Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. As European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, he proposed and built the Banking Union with the support of President José Manuel Barroso.