New European Parliament takes shape


For the last two weeks, the European Parliament has been taking shape, with the elections of almost all the key positions within the EP.

On 3 July, the European Parliament played by the book and followed the recommendation from EU leaders to elect a Socialist as the President of the institution. David Maria Sassoli won 345 votes in the second round of voting. Jan Zahradil (ECR) won 160 votes and Ska Keller (Greens/EFA) 119. At this occasion, the European Parliament also elected its 14 Vice-Presidents.

Sassoli is due to serve for two and a half years — half of the parliamentary term — before passing the torch to a member of the center-right European People’s Party for the rest of the mandate.

During his introductory speech, Sassoli underlined the priorities that he believed the Parliament would have to pursue in the coming years. “We are immersed in momentous transformations: youth unemployment, migration, climate change, the digital revolution, the new world balance, just to name a few, which need new ideas and courage”.

On Wednesday, 10 July, almost all the Parliamentary Committees have elected their Chairs and Vice-Chairs (with the exception of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs). All the names of the appointed MEPs are available on the European Parliament’s website.

The election of the Chairs saw pro-EU parties blocking Euroskeptic and extremist groups from claiming several prominent committee leadership posts. French MEP Gilles Lebreton of National Rally was voted down as Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs.

On Tuesday, MEPs will have the occasion to debate with Ursula von der Leyen, before voting on her nomination for Commission President. Von der Leyen met with most of the Political groups in the European Parliament this week to secure her nomination, but the final result is for now still uncertain, with certain political groups and MEPs declaring they would not support her candidature.