EP to elect President on Wednesday 3 July

  • The new EP will have its inaugural session next week but has put back by one day the election of its own President to 3 July in order to allow EU leaders more time to agree on a candidate for Commission President.
  • So far there are only two official candidates for EP President – the Czech ECR(conservative) MEP Jan Zahradil and Spanish GUE (far left) Sira Abed Rego. The main political groups have until 19.00 on Tuesday 2 July to submit their nominations, with their decision dependant on the outcome of the weekend discussions on sharing out the EU top jobs.

Formation of new parliamentary committees

  • The membership of parliamentary committees will be announced in the evening of Wednesday 3 July, after a vote on their respective size. The attached table indicates the proposed size of each committee (ENVI back to being the largest with 76 MEPs) and how many MEPs from each political group will be in each committee).
  • A tentative agreement has been reached between the political groups to share out the committee chairmanships, which foresees:
  1. EPP (7) : Foreign (AFET); Industry (ITRE); Constitutional (AFCO); Culture (CULT); Budgetary Control (CONT); Development (DEVE);  Petitions (PETI)
  2. S&D (5) : Economics (ECON); Trade (INTA); Civil Liberties (LIBE); Women’s Rights(FEMM); Human Rights (DROI)
  3. Renew Europe (3) : Environment (ENVI); Fisheries (PECH) ; Security & Defence (SEDE)
  4. Greens (2): Internal Market (IMCO); Transport (TRAN)
  5. ID (far-right 2): Agriculture (AGRI); Legal Affairs (JURI)
  6. ECR (2): Budgets (BUDG); Employment (EMPL)
  7. GUE (1): Regional (REGI)
  • The decision on committees is agreed between the political groups based on a “gentleman’s agreement” and it remains to be seen if the 2 ID Chairman from the far-right (AGRI & JURI) will be challenged. The Chairmen are formally elected in the first committee meetings the week of 8 July. We will be sending out an infographic listing the committee chairmen by Friday 12 July.

EU leaders will try again to agree on a candidate for Commission President

  • EU leaders will try again to agree on a candidate for Commission President at an extraordinary summit meeting on Sunday 30 June. President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, will meet EP group leaders on Sunday before the summit. So far, the 3 main political groups are sticking to their lead candidates – Manfred Weber (EPP); Frans Timmermans (S&D) and Margrethe Vestager (RE).
  • The European Parliament is due to vote on the nominated candidate on Wednesday 17 July.

Developments in Political Groups

  • The EFDD group that brought together Italian 5 Star and UK Brexit party has not re-formed and so MEPs from both big parties will sit as Independents (non-inscrits) and have less speaking time and budget
  • Attempts by the 5 Star to join the far-left GUE group have been turned down due to their association with Italy’s immigration policy.
  • The GUE have still to formally elect their new leadership team and the interim leader is Martin Schirdewan (DE) supported by Marisa Matias (PT), Nikolaj Villumsen (DK) and Joao Ferreira (PT). Their candidate for EP Vice-President will again be Dimitris Papadimoulis (GK)
  • A big Catalan demonstration will take place next Tuesday in Strasbourg to protest at the refusal of the Spanish authorities to allow Oriol Junqueras to take his seat in the Green group.