Over 200 million European citizens voted in the European Parliamentary elections that took place May 23-26, raising voter turnout from what was only 42.61 percent in 2014 to 51 percent this year. The new parliament will convene in its first plenary session July 2.
Prior to that first plenary session, the parliamentary political groups will hold their constitutive meetings. A political group must consist of at least 25 MEPs elected in at least one-quarter of the member states and have to notify the outgoing President of the Parliament of their formation by July 1 in order to be officially recognized.
At the first plenary in Strasbourg, July 2 to 4, the newly elected MEPs will elect their President, 14 Vice-Presidents and five Quaestors, who together form the presidency of the Parliament.
Parliament will launch the new legislative term by voting on the Parliament’s standing committees and sub-committees. The committees will then hold their first meetings to elect their Chairs and Vice-Chairs in the following weeks.
In the second session, July 15-18, the EP may have its first opportunity to elect the President of the European Commission. The Commission President’s election requires an absolute majority in Parliament. If the candidate does not have the required majority, the European Council must propose another candidate within a month’s time.
Following the election of the Commission President, a list of candidate commissioners (one from each member state) will be adopted by the Council in agreement with the Commission President-elect. These candidates will appear before parliamentary committees in their prospective fields of responsibility; hearings will probably take place in October.
Needless to say, all votes taken by Parliament prior to the May elections remain legally valid for the next Parliament.