17 June 2019

8 groups to contest Europe’s parliamentary elections

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Eight different political alliances will contest Europe’s parliamentary elections which will be held on May 23-26. reports citing Anadolu Agency.

The new presidents of European Parliament, European Council and European Commission will be elected in the vote.

Spitzenkandidat process

The Spitzenkandidat process was implemented after the last European Parliament elections. Through the process, the candidate nominated by the most-rated political group in parliament was elected to the EU Commission president. It is still being discussed whether the same process will be implemented after these elections.

EU leaders are expected to meet on May 28 to decide whether the same process will be implemented. Germany supports the process while France and Luxembourg oppose it.

Eight different groups will take part in the election for the 751-seat parliament.

Lead candidates

Each group nominates a lead candidate who will represent them in the EP.

Dutch Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission since November 2014, is lead candidate of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D).

The 58-year-old politician served as EU minister for his country in 2007-2010. He also served as foreign minister from 2012-2014.

Germany's Manfred Weber is lead candidate for the European People's Party (EPP).

Weber is the chairman of EPP. He is known for his hardline immigration policy and opposition to Turkey's EU accession.

Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ECR) nominated Czech-origin Jan Zahradil.

Zahradil was elected in 2004 as MP to European Parliament. He supports the idea of a more "elastic" EU.

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) nominated seven candidates instead of one lead.

Guy Verhofstadt, Margrethe Vestager, Nicola Beer, Katalin Cseh, Luis Garicano, Emma Bonino and Violeta Bulc were nominated by ALDE.

Guy Verhofstadt, who is seen one step ahead of others, was prime minister of Belgium from 1999 to 2008.

German national Ska Keller and Dutch Bas Eickhout were nominated as candidates by The European Green Party (EGP).

Keller, one of the youngest candidates in elections, was educated on Islam and Turkology.

The second candidate Eichout is interested in agriculture, climate change and environment issues.

Other groups are the European United Left/Nordic Green Left, European Greens/European Free Alliance, Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy and Europe of Nations and Freedom.

It is not clear yet which groups French President Emmanuel Macron and Hungarian PM Viktor Orban supported in the elections.

2019.05.21 / 20:32
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