The European elections are done now, and the names of the new MEPs mostly known. What will be the very first steps that newly (re)elected MEPs will make?
First of all the political groups have to meet and constitute themselves. The classic established groups like the center-right EPP, the center-left S&D, the liberals or the greens have met and elected their leadership and other internal positions of influence.
In the political groups MEPs are now jockeying for a membership in the parliamentary committees of their choosing. Now is being determined in what fields of action they will spend most of their parliamentary time and efforts for the years to come. Will it be agriculture, industry, foreign or maybe financial services / economic and monetary affairs? This choice is crucial MEPs will know for sure at the 2-4 July plenary when the appointments will be ratified by the European Parliament in full session.
For everything that is going to happen in financial services, the composition of the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) committee is going to be key. A number of long-time heavy weight MEPs from the 2014-2019 mandate were not running and thereby certain not to come back. Other former ECON members made it back to the European Parliament and the general assumption is that they might seek another ECON term. On a non-exhaustive list feature on the center-right Markus Ferber, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Othmar Karas, Esther de Lange, on the center left in particular Roberto Gualtieri and Paul Tang, among the liberals Caroline Nagtegaal and among the greens Sven Giegold, Philippe Lamberts and Bas Eikhout. With these and other come-backs in mind, the new ECON committee will have around two thirds of new members. A key question will be whether after the departure of Mady Delvaux the committee will count among its members a Luxembourger MEP as has been the case at least for the last six mandates.
The week after the first plenary already parliamentary committees will meet for the first time officializing via usually pre-orchestrated votes the deals of which political group and individual gets the committee chairmanship and who gets the vice-chairmanships. The chairman / -woman holds an influential position as he or she a.o. determines the agenda of the committee meetings and leads the European Parliament delegation in the trialogue meetings, the end phase of legislative negotiations between EU institutions.
The first plenary session of 2-4 July will also elect the President of the European Parliament, the vice-presidents as well as other positions of influence.
We will be back on these events in this space.
By Antoine Kremer, ABBL & ALFI Head of European Affairs