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HOW ELECTIONS WORK

Members of the European Parliament are directly elected for five years. Each country has its own election rules but some common provisions apply.

The Members of the European Parliament are elected every five years. The world’s only directly elected trans-national assembly, the Parliament represents the interests of EU citizens at the European level. It elects the President of the European Commission, appoints its Commissioners (as a college) and holds them to account. It passes laws for our protection and budgets on our behalf. It represents us abroad and acts on our petitions. The discourse of its Members shapes our political and social agenda upholding the values of the Treaty of the European Union:

Although elected by country, Members of the European Parliament sit in political groups based on a shared platform and identity, which gives individual Members greater influence. Parliamentary rules require that each group has at least 25 Members and represents at least a quarter of EU Member States. Political parties in the Member States generally confirm their allegiance to an existing group, or their intention to form or to join a new one, at the outset of the election and often campaign together to at least some extent. There are eight groups in the current Parliament.

Since 2014 the political parties have been encouraged to agree a lead candidate or ‘spitzenkandidat’ to lead their election campaign throughout the EU and to be the official candidate for the presidency of the European Commission. The lead candidate nominated by the Council, and able to command a majority in Parliament, will be elected President of the European Commission by a vote of Parliament.

The election results will be reported live (on this website) as they are declared on Sunday 26 May 2019.

In the days immediately following the results, the new Members of the new Parliament work to form political groups. The political composition of the new Parliament may require new allegiances to be formed and new groups may emerge. At its first plenary session, the new Parliament will elect a new President of the European Parliament. The new Parliament will then elect the new President of the European Commission and later will examine and approve the entire Commission.
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