European Parliament to push ahead with electing president on Wednesday

The European Parliament will push ahead with electing a president to replace Antonio Tajani today after failing to reach a

european parliament president election

Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty

The European Parliament will push ahead with electing a president to replace Antonio Tajani today after failing to reach a consensus in a summit in Brussels earlier this week.

This election underscores a shift in control of the European Union. For the first time ever, neither the centre-left faction of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats nor the centre-right faction of the European People’s Party have a majority.

Right-leaning Eastern European delegations proposed a compromise that would split the five-year Parliament presidency between European People’s Party leader Manfred Weber and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats Party leader Guy Verhofstadt. This presents a conflict over equity, as debate regarding which leader presides over the EU budget, EU legislation and EU representation in international affairs will have to be ironed out.

Some leaders argue for more inclusive representation, claiming that Mr Weber is a setback for progressive policymaking due to his inability to garner majority support. Others, who see the waning strength of the left, are advocating for the traditional policy of spitzenkandidat, claiming that Mr Weber should assume the position based on the EPP having the most MEPs.

This fragmentation hampers efforts to address migration, a resurgent Russia, and the rise of populism.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.