Since the first European Parliament (EP) Elections in 1979, the turnout rate has been steadily declining.  However the 2019 elections mark the first increase, reaching 50.6%.

EDC News: Europe’s 2019 Election Results and New Leadership

In May 2019, millions of Europeans decided what path the EU was going to take for the next 5 years.  The increase in voter turnout demonstrated how Europeans are showing a greater interest in EU politics, therefore, giving a clearer image of their concerns and ambitions.  The elections give European citizens the opportunity to choose the Member of European Parliament (MEP) they believe would represent them best in Parliament.  In turn, these MEPs elect the new President of the European Parliament (David Sassoli) and most importantly the President of the European Commission (EC) (who is now Ursula von der Leyen).  Within the structure of the EU, the EC acts as the executive branch which implements policies and guides the general direction of the EU.

The elections resulted in the EPP (24.23%) remaining the biggest political group followed by the S&D (20.51%), however, both decreased in their share of seats in comparison to the 2014 elections.  Meanwhile, smaller groups are becoming more prominent, e.g. Renew Europe (14.38%), Greens/EFA (9.85%) and Identity and Democracy (ID) (9.72%).  These results illustrate that the concerns of European citizens are moving towards issues relating to the environment, a more integrated and sustainable Europe and, conversely, a redefined Europe. These issues were addressed by the newly elected President of the EC (Ursula von der Leyen) in her candidate visionary speech (during the Plenary Session):

  •  A European Green Deal that strives to make Europe the first carbon neutral continent and aims for a 55% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.  This will be achieved partially through the creation of a Sustainable Europe Investment Fund that will encourage investments of €1 trillion over the next decade.
  • A deeper and more integrated Economic and Monetary Union for supporting Member States’ investment and growth reforms and providing a more flexible Stability and Growth Pact, thereby, ensuring a friendlier fiscal stance in the Eurozone for greater growth.
  • Stronger external borders of the EU and a rethink on migration by reinforcing the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.  The Common European Asylum System assistance will be focused mainly towards Member States who face greater migration and asylum related challenges.

President von der Leyen proposes to implement these measures during her presidency over the next five years.


 For more information

2019 European Election Results, European Parliament

2014 European Election Results, European Parliament

European Election Results Comparative Tool, European Parliament

European Elections Turnout by Year, European Parliament

Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament – Rule 16 (Election of President), European Parliament

Infographic: how the European Parliament president gets elected, European Parliament

Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union – Par. 7 (Election process of Commission President), EUR-Lex

How are the Commission President and Commissioners appointed?, European Parliament

The Political groups of the European Parliament, European Parliament

European Council appoints new EU Leaders, European Council



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