Legislative work in the European Parliament’s eighth term ended on 18 April 2019. In a direct vote on 23-26 May, citizens in all EU member states will elect their MEPs to form the new House.
End of term
Parlamentary recess began on 19 April. Ongoing negotiations with member states on legislative proposals have been suspended. If no agreement was reached, Parliament as a whole could vote on its position and closed first readings, for the next Parliament to continue the work. Read more in the Achievements section.
UK withdrawal from the EU
Following the agreement reached at the 10 April European Special Summit, the UK’s departure date is set to be 31 October or before. This means that the UK is now legally obliged to participate in the European Elections if it does not ratify the Withdrawal Agreement before the 23 May 2019.
To enter into force, any withdrawal agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom would need the approval of the European Parliament by a simple majority of votes cast (Article 50 (2) of the Treaty). Read more about Parliament’s debates and resolutions on Brexit.
Eurovision Presidential debate - EU Elections 2019
On 15 May at 21:00, Parliament will host a Europe-wide broadcast lead candidates’ debate in the Brussels plenary chamber. The debate will be organised and broadcast by Eurovision - the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Accredited journalists will be able to attend the debate in the hemicycle and in listening rooms put at their disposal. Read more in the section on lead candidates.
Elections days in Brussels
Press and audiovisual facilities will be open to registered press during election week and the day after election night from 23-27 May inclusive. On Sunday 26 May, the hemicycle will be centre-stage for national exit polls, provisional results and candidates’ statements. Special accreditation will be required to access the EP.
The incoming Parliament
As of 27 May, the new MEPs-elected will start negotiations to form political groups. 25 Members are needed to form a political group, and at least one-quarter of the member states must be represented within the group.
On 2 July, Parliament’s 9th term will start and MEPs will meet for its constituent session in Strasbourg. MEPs will elect the President, the 14 Vice-Presidents and the five Quaestors of the House and decide on the number and composition of Parliament’s standing committees.
The next Commission
Member states will nominate a candidate for the post of Commission President, but in doing so they must take account of the European election results. Moreover, Parliament needs to approve the new Commission President by an absolute majority (half of the component members plus one). If the candidate does not obtain the required majority, the member states need to propose another candidate within a month (European Council acting by qualified majority).
The Commissioners-designate, who are proposed by the member states, and the Commission President-elect have to win the approval of Parliament before the Commission can enter into office, at the beginning of November.
Read more here.
Issues to watch in 2019 (EP Research briefing)
Economic outlook 2019 (EP Research briefing)