The European elections are now behind us, but many questions have yet to be answered. The next few days should cast more light on who will be the next Commission president and which political groups will find common ground to shape the agenda of the new Parliament. Here is a brief look at what comes next.
New Commission president
The Conference of Presidents, which consists of the leaders of parliamentary groups and the EP president, meets early on Tuesday 27 May, to discuss what the results of the European elections mean for the political landscape in Europe and Parliament itself, as well as how they will influence the election of the president of the European Commission.
For the first time ever, European political parties presented official candidates for the top post of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body in charge of formulating and enforcing the EU policies that have to be approved by the Parliament and the national governments. On election night, most of these candidates said that the new Commission president should be one of them.
The official nomination should come over the coming weeks from the European Council, where the EU heads of state or government meet. The first step for them is the informal dinner they have in Brussels on Tuesday evening to discuss the issue. The Lisbon Treaty states that in their choice of candidate, they should take into account the results of the elections.
The nominated candidate will then try to rally support from political groups in Parliament, which is expected to vote on whether to approve or not the Council candidate during the 14-17 July plenary session. For the nominee to get the EP’s approval, over half of all MEPs, meaning at least 376, should vote in his or her favour.
New political groups
Another issue to watch for is whether new groups emerge in the Parliament following the elections. Under the EP’s rules of procedure, at least 25 MEPs from a quarter of all EU countries (i.e. seven) are needed to form a new group. The official political groups in EP should be established before the first plenary session starting on 1 July.
During the first plenary session in July, MEPs will choose a new president and the vice-presidents of the Parliament. Learn more about the procedures from our infographic here.
Provisional results published on Monday at 15.50 CET showed EPP winning 213 seats in the new Parliament, ahead of S&D (190 seats), ALDE (64 seats) and the Greens (53 seats). ECR is projected to win 46 seats, GUE/NGL 42 and EFD -38. The number of MEPs coming from parties/lists that were among those non-attached in the outgoing Parliament is 41, while another 64 seats were won by new parties/candidates still not aligned to any of the existing groups. The results will be updated until they are final.