In May 2019, more than 200 million Europeans (+8% compared to 2014) gave legitimacy to 751 Members of the European Parliament, two-third of which were newly elected. The higher turnout underlined EU citizens’ growing concerns over the economy, climate change but also a wish to have more say on “how the EU should be working in the future”.
The outcome is a hung parliament where the traditional centre-right (EPP) and -left (S&D) parties no longer jointly hold the majority. This opens a new era for EU policymaking after decades of two-party dominance.
The appointment of Ursula von der Leyen and the Commissioner-designates’ hearings have shown that this fragmentation can lead to astute political manoeuvres. Political majorities will require the support of at least a third political force, i.e. the liberals (Renew Europe) since the Greens initially voted against her candidacy. Yet a comfortable majority supported the new College (461 votes in favour) on 27 November, underlining that a more stable coalition agreement may be within reach.
In September 2019, President von der Leyen presented a “bold” policy agenda with 6 top priorities and clear milestones for her first 100-day in office. Among these, Margrethe Vestager will serve as Executive Vice President for “Europe fit for the Digital Age,” while Valdis Dombrovskis will become Executive Vice President for “An Economy that Works for People.” Frans Timmermans will oversee a “European Green Deal” aimed at ramping up EU policy to fight climate change and push sustainability.
With the “VDL” Commission now in full gear, the new college is expected to turn political declarations into policies that benefit European citizens and the economy.
Need help to navigate the new institutional setup? Download the organisational charts of the new EU leadership, compiled by logos around the three priorities headed by new European Commission Executive Vice Presidents. The interinstitutional structure of the charts underlines the multifaceted nature of the European legislative process. We also highlight the gender (im)balance.
For each institution – Commission, Parliament and Council, we highlighted the future “Implementers”: the leading policymakers and officials who will be instrumental in giving Europe the “fresh start” Ursula von der Leyen called for. However, everybody knows that it takes more than a few individuals to make it happen – many others in Brussels and beyond would belong to this list.
We hope nonetheless that this visual representation of some of the key players of the next legislature will help foster a policy debate that meets citizens expectations.
You can access the individual charts by clicking on the ‘download’ button. Here is the full package.