On 23-26 May 2019, the European Parliament elections will take place. 751 MEPs will be elected for 5 years representing more than 512 million Europeans from 28 member states (if UK participates).
For the second time after the 2014 elections, the European political parties were asked to nominate candidates for a President of the European Commission. This ‘Spitzenkandidaten process’ has been developed to ensure that the European citizens not only elect the Parliament itself, but can influence on who is going to be the Head of the EU executive. The presidency of the Commission will most likely be occupied by the candidate of the political party that is able to gather sufficient support from the European Parliament. Manfred Weber, Spitzenkandidat for the European Peoples Party (EPP), Frans Timmermans, transnational lead candidate for the Party of European Socialists (PES) and Jan Zahradil, Spitzenkandidat for the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists (AECR) are the sole candidates for their parties. Ska Keller and Bas Eikhout lead the European Greens, Nico Cué and Violeta Tomič lead the European Left and the Alliance of Liberals whereas the Democrats Europe (ALDE) is represented by a team of liberal leaders, such as Margrethe Vestager and Guy Verhofstadt. Most of these candidates will represent their political views and parties at a debate in Brussels on 15 May 2019, where urgent issues and the future of the EU will be discussed. This event will be broadcasted all over Europe.
The EP elections will also have an impact on the sports policy of the European Union. The successful work of the current Sport Intergroup has shown the necessity and power of such an intergroup. Moreover, the new Commission and the new Commissioner for Sport will be chosen and an overall affinity to sports of the acting persons is crucial to further mainstream sport at the European level.
Briefing: the Spitzenkandidaten process