Hearing on transnational lists and the Spitzenkandidaten principle 

Press Releases 

On Thursday, the Constitutional Affairs committee will discuss with experts the lessons to be drawn from the last European elections and inter-institutional nominations’ cycle.

The hearing will comprise a presentation by subject matter experts and a discussion with the committee’s MEPs, which is expected to take into account the upcoming COnference on the Future of Europe and the potential for institutional reform in the European Union. János Martonyi, Professor of International Trade Law and European Law, University of Public Service, Budapest; Christine Verger, Vice-President of Institut Jacques Delors, Paris, France; Andreas Maurer, Professor at the University of Innsbruck - School of Social and Political Sciences, Austria; and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Former Member of the European Parliament, 1994-2014, Verts/ALE, will present their views for approximately 10 minutes each and answer MEPs’ questions during the ensuing discussion.


In the context of enhancing the European political sphere and the democratic legitimacy of the EU, two key proposals have emerged: the “Spitzenkandidaten” (lead candidate) process and transnational lists.

The European Parliament has long insisted that, by voting in European elections, citizens not only elect the Parliament itself, but also have a say over who would head the European Commission. The Spitzenkandidaten process is a procedure whereby European political parties, ahead of European elections, appoint lead candidates for the role of Commission President.

The concept of “transnational lists” has seen numerous interpretations, all of them revolving around the idea of establishing a common electoral constituency across EU member states, which would mean that all EU citizens could vote for candidates on the same list(s).

When: Thursday, 24 September 2020, 16.45 - 18.45

Where: European Parliament in Brussels, József Antall building, room 6Q2, with remote participation.

You can follow the hearing live here. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, journalists are strongly advised to follow the meeting online.