How the Spitzenkandidaten process will work ahead of 2019 elections

The European elections are looming ever closer but how will the Parliament’s main political groups choose their candidates for the EU’s top jobs in the lead-up to May 2019?

Last time around in 2014, the EU chose the presidents of the main institutions for the first time via the Spitzenkandidaten or ‘lead candidate’ process.

In 2014, the European Peoples’ Party was the biggest group and Jean-Claude Juncker was appointed president of the European Commission as a result. The so-called ‘grand coalition’ with the Socialists (S&D group) meant that Martin Schulz became Parliament president.

Even though there are no guarantees that the jobs will be allocated the same way in 2019, here is how Spitzenkandidaten will work if the EU does indeed go down that road once more.

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One year ahead of the European Elections, emboldened by a recent opinion poll, the European Parliament made key announcements on Wednesday (23 May), signalling a strong preference for the Spitzenkandidaten system that was rejected by the heads of state and government..

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