Legislative work in the European Parliament’s eighth term ends 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.
In the remaining plenary sessions, Parliament in its current form (751 MEPs from 28 member states) will debate and vote on crucial legislative proposals, including contingency measures to avoid overly disruptive effects of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on their citizens.
Furthermore, MEPs’ “Future of Europe” plenary debates with EU leaders will continue until the last session.
Ongoing negotiations with member states on legislative proposals will be suspended by the end of February. If no agreement can be reached, Parliament as a whole can vote on its position and close first readings, for the next Parliament to continue the work. Read more in the Achievements section.
UK withdrawal from the EU
Britain’s membership of the European Union is set to lapse as of 29 March 2019 and so will the mandates of currently 72 British MEPs.
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.
Lead candidates’ debate
On 15 May at 21:00 (tbc), Parliament will stage a Europe-wide 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.
Elections days in Brussels
Press and audiovisual facilities will be open to registered press during the 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, seat projections, provisional results and candidates’ statements.
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 5 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 existing MEPs plus one). If the candidate doesn’t obtain the required majority, the member states need to propose another candidate within a month's time (European Council acting by qualified majority).
Read more here
National elections scheduled in the run-up to European elections
3 March: Legislative election in Estonia
9 March: Presidential election in Slovakia
14 April: Legislative election in Finland
28 April: Legislative election in Spain
12 May: Presidential election in Lithuania
26 May: Legislative and regional elections in Belgium
Issues to watch in 2019 (EP Research briefing)
Economic outlook 2019 (EP Research briefing)