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EU Parliament: “Spitzenkandidaten” approved. MEPs to be reduced in 2019, transnational lists rejected

La plenaria del Parlamento Ue a Strasburgo (foto Parlamento europeo)

(Strasbourg) Green light to the resolution that backs the “Spitzenkandidaten” system. And green light also to the reduction of the Parliament’s size by 46 seats for 2019-2024 in the wake of Brexit, and to the re-distribution of another 27 seats that belonged to the UK. Transactional lists, however, were rejected. This is the outcome of the voting in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today. A large majority has approved the proposed amendments to the Agreement on relations between the Parliament and the Commission on the “Spitzenkandidaten”, according to which the candidate of the political group that will have more MEPs elected in the next Parliament will be designated as president of the Commission. The resolution was passed by 457 votes to 200, with 20 abstentions. There is also the first approval of the reduction of MEPs from 751 to 705 for next parliamentary term, after the United Kingdom leaves the EU: 46 of the 73 UK seats would be “frozen” in a reserve for future EU accessions. The other 27 former UK seats would be distributed among the 14 EU countries that are currently under-represented. Among them, France and the Netherlands would receive 5, and Italy 3. The decision by the European Parliament now needs to be confirmed by the Heads of State and Government of the EU. The proposal, anticipated by SIR news agency, to set up “transnational” electoral lists comprising the entire territory of the Union was, however, rejected. The amendment was tabled by the Groups of the European People’s Party; Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy; the Confederal Group of the European United Left; and the European Conservatives and Reformists.

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