Thursday, 11 July 2019
What you need to know about the newly elected EU Committee Chairs
MEPs have just elected the 22 new Committee Chairmen set out in our attached infographic. The main takeaways from the votes:
- EPP will chair 8 committees, S&D 5, Renew Europe 3, Greens and ECR 2 each and GUE 1. German MEPs top the list, chairing 5 committees (4 EPP, 1 S&D).
- The headline story was the rejection of former Polish Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo (ECR/PL), as Chair of the Employment Committee (EMPL). This could have far-reaching consequences for the working of the parliament and could put in doubt ECR support for the deal on Commission president, despite the fact the EPP was the only other group to support her (she was rejected by 27 votes to 21). A decision on EMPL Chair has been postponed to a later date, to see if the ECR will put forward another candidate. The Polish PiS may well dig in their heels but the main groups are opposed to any positions of responsibility going to parties under article 7 proceedings (Hungary’s Fidesz and Poland’s PiS).
- The other ECR Chairman, Johan van Overtveldt (ECR/BE), a former Belgian Finance Minister from the Flemish nationalist N-VA, was elected Chair of ECON without any trouble.
- As anticipated, the ID (far-right) candidates for AGRI and JURI Chairmen were rejected and replaced by Norbert Lins (EPP/DE) in AGRI and newcomer, Lucy Nethsingha (RE/UK) in JURI. All other ID candidates for Vice-President positions were also voted down and replaced.
- Macron’s lead candidate, Nathalie Loiseau’s (RE/FR) journey in Brussels gets no easier – she was challenged by the RN MEP, Jerome Riviere (ID/FR) as Chair of the Subcommittee on Security & Defence and won by an unconvincing 14 votes to 8 with 4 abstentions.
- 4 Chairmen retain their committees (McAllister/AFCO; Lange/INTA; Gualtieri/ECON; Delli/TRAN).
- 8 committees go to new MEPs who will have to learn quickly the EP’s procedures.
- The UK, despite its imminent departure, boasts 2 Chairmen, both Lib Dems.
- There is now almost almost 50:50 gender balance with 11 men and 10 women.