All you need to know about the election of the next EP president 


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The next EP president will be elected at the first plenary session of the new Parliament 

The new Parliament will kick off its next term with the election of the president, 14 vice-presidents and five quaestors during the first plenary session on 1-3 July. Find out more about what they do, who is eligible to stand and how they are elected by reading our Q&A.

When do they have the elections?

The EP is elected for five years, but the term of office for president, vice-presidents, quaestors and committee chairs is two-and-a-half years. So the elections are held at the beginning of a parliamentary term and at mid-term.

Who can stand as a candidate for president?

Any MEP can stand if they are backed by a political group or a minimum of 40 MEPs.

How does the presidential election work?  

The election is done using a secret ballot. MEPs mark their preferred candidate on a ballot paper and place the vote in a ballot box, overseen by eight tellers chosen from among MEPs.

A candidate getting an absolute majority of the votes cast (50% + 1) is elected. Blank or spoiled ballot papers are not counted.

If there is no winner after the first ballot, the same candidates or new candidates can be nominated for a second round of voting under the same conditions.  This can be repeated a third time if necessary.

If no-one is elected at the third ballot, the two highest scoring candidates go to a fourth ballot, where the winner is decided by simple majority. If there is a tie, the older candidate is declared the winner.

What does the president do?

The president oversees all of the EP's work, its governing bodies and plenary debates. He or she represents the Parliament in all legal affairs and external relations and at the start of every European Council summit sets out the EP's point of view about the items on the agenda.

The president also signs the EU budget into law and co-signs legislation with the president of the Council.

What about the election of the vice-presidents?

The 14 vice-presidents are nominated in the same way as the president and are elected by secret ballot after the presidential vote. All candidates are on a single voting paper. In the first round candidates getting an absolute majority of votes cast, up to 14, are elected. If posts are still empty, a second round of voting will be held and then a third, after which a relative majority is enough.

If only 14 candidates are nominated, they will be elected by acclamation and a vote is held to determine the order of precedence.

What are quaestors and what do they do?

The five quaestors are responsible for administrative and financial matters directly affecting MEPs.  They are elected in a similar way to the vice-presidents.