2019 EU Elections Kick Off with Votes in Netherlands, UK
The new EU Parliament is set to convene for the first time in Strasbourg on July 2, 2019.
The Netherlands and the UK, which remains an EU member state for the time being thanks to the unresolved Brexit process, kicked off the 2019 European Parliament elections on Thursday, May 23, 2019.
The elections in all 28 EU member states will last through Sunday, May 26, 2019, with some 427 million voters going to the polls in the world’s second largest exercise of direct electoral democracy after the elections in India.
While the UK’s fate as an EU member state remains uncertain, the EU 27 have granted it an extension on Brexit until October 31, 2019 – although British leader Theresa May’s hopes are to get Britain out of the EU before the summer.
After the Netherlands and the UK vote on May 23, on May 24, they will be followed by Ireland and the Czech Republic on Friday, 24 May. Latvia, Malta and Slovakia will vote on Saturday, May 25.
The remaining 21 EU member states will all vote on Sunday, May 26: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and Spain.
The first official results of the elections in the entire EU, however, will not be released until the last polling stations are closed – they will be made public after 11 pm CET, on Sunday, May 26, when the polling stations will be closed down in Italy.
Results from exit polls and surveys, however, will be published earlier by the European Parliament, at 6 pm on May 26.
A total of 751 MEP seats will be filled with representatives from across the EU for the next 5 years.
The first projection for the composition of the new European Parliament (2019 – 2024) will be based on the existing political groups meaning that any newcomers such as French President Emmanuel Macron’s “Renaissance” list in France, the Spanish far-right party Vox, or other likely far-right and populist parties will be listed as “Others”.
Forming a parliamentary group requires at least 25 MEP seats and representatives from at least 7 EU member states.
The news conferences after the announcing of the results at the European Parliament venue in Brussels will be covered by more than 1,000 journalists, twice as many as in 2014.
The new European Parliament will convene in Strasburg, France, on July 2, 2019, and based on the results and the negotiations among the party families, it will have the opportunity to elect the next President of the European Commission, the EU executive. The new European Commission should begin operating on November 1, 2019.
Other top EU appointments depending on the debates of the new Parliament include the Presidents of the Parliament itself as well the European Council, and the European Central Bank.
The leaders of the EU 28 member states will convene in Brussels for a European Council summit on May 28, 2019, to address the results from the elections and also begin negotiations on the new appointments to the Union’s top jobs.
(Banner image: Erich Westendarp, Pixabay)