Selection for European Union’s leading positions following 2019 European Parliament elections

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Publication Date 2019
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Reports, analyses and information regarding the process by which the leading figures of the main institutions of the European Union (EU) are selected, following the European Parliament elections in May 2019.

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The European Parliament elections - held between 23-26 May 2019 - produced a number of relevant changes in its composition and balance of political power. The outcome of the election was seen by analysts as a major factor influencing the selection of the figures set to lead the main institutions of the European Union - Presidents of the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Central Bank (ECB), as well as the EU High Representative of Foreign Affairs.

One of the main questions resides on the impact of the so-called Spitzenkandidaten process, which led the main political groups to nominate lead candidates prior to the election. These figures would theoretically be the main candidates to lead the European Commission. However, some members of the European Council signalled their resistance in accepting that process as it would restrict the pool of potential candidates. Another sticking issue has to do with gender equality, together with a proportional distribution of the leading positions across the different European regions.

The process was launched during an informal meeting of the European Council on 28 May. A group of six national leaders - representative of the three biggest political groups in the new composition of the European Parliament - was informally designated to further discuss the distribution of the top jobs. A number of senior figures emerged across media outlets as potential candidates for these positions.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
Open Europe: Blog, 31/05/2019: The selection of top EU jobs explained
Euro|topics, May 2019: Race for the EU's top post
Politico, 04/06/2019: The wrong man for the ECB
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 04/06/2019: Time for Strong New EU Leaders
EurActiv, 05/06/2019: MEPs should not approve a Commission President lacking a sustainability agenda
BBC News, 10/06/2019: Who will replace European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker?
ING: Opinion, 12/06/2019: Europe’s new political landscape to determine top EU jobs candidates
Politico, 17/06/2019: Draft Merkel!

EurActiv, 29/06/2019: EU job carousel keeps turning as new hires announced
Politico, 03/06/2019: ‘EU 6’ to discuss Commission president choice
Politico, 05/06/2019: EU conservatives see path to power, pressurizing Macron and Liberals
Reuters, 06/06/2019: EU mini-summit set to discuss top jobs succession
Politico, 07/06/2019: Macron’s liberal group in damage-control mode
EUObserver, 07/06/2019: EU six hold informal dinner on top jobs
Politico, 08/06/2019: Last supper of the Spitzenkandidaten
Politico, 11/06/2019: Macron ‘would support’ Merkel for Commission president
EurActiv, 12/06/2019: Macron says he would back Merkel if she runs for EU leadership
Deutsche Welle, 12/06/2019: Macron would back Angela Merkel as European Commission president, 12/06/2019: Four eastern EU states to discuss top jobs, keen to boost their influence
Politico, 12/06/2019: EPP loves Weber but some party members doubt he is ‘the one’
EurActiv, 13/06/2019: Four eastern EU states to discuss top jobs, keen to boost their influence
Politico, 14/06/2019: Pact could mean top EU jobs for Verhofstadt and conservatives

ESO Records
Changes to European Parliament composition following 2019 EP election

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