The EU's ambitious, fearless antitrust czar is unlikely to win another term


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Okay, I’ve more-or-less figured out how a parliamentary system works. But how does the EU elect its leaders? Are there international parties that run in an election?


Commissioners, who do most of the actual work, and are the only body that can actually initiate, repeal or amend once enacted Europe wide aren’t elected at all, they are appointed, one for each of the 28 member states, appointed by the member state government. That means, btw that 600k population Malta gets to appoint as many as 82m Germany. MEPs are directly elected, and act as a reviewing chamber. Whilst smaller countries get proportionately a higher number of MEPs, it’s not nearly as bad as commissioners.


Oh boy. You have to ask the difficult questions, huh?

Prentiz’s summary is sort of right but equally wrong. In fairly important ways.

The European Council (which is made of EU member state heads of state and government, so Merkel, Macron, etc.) (not the Council of the European Union - which is completely different, or the Council of Europe - which has nothing to do with the EU) propose someone to be Commission President.

The European Parliament then votes on that candidate.

If confirmed, the President then selects Vice-Presidents and Commissioners based on suggestions from EU countries as Prentiz says. The European Council then approve or reject the list.

The nominees then appear in front of the EU Parliament committee dealing with their proposed area of responsibility.

Once all the positions have been approved by their respective committees, the whole list of ‘approved’ candidates goes in front of the whole EU parliament to be approved/rejected.

Once approved by Parliament, the candidates are then appointed by the Council.

So, yes, the Council appoints but it is a bit more complicated than that and the Parliament votes at various stages in various ways.

Each member state is responsible for sorting out their own elections to the EU Parliament. Most (I think all) member states have their candidates running under their own national parties. So we in the UK have Conservative MEP candidates, UKIP candidates, Greens, Labour, etc. etc., the Germans have CDU and SPD and AfD and so on.

Once they are elected, there are various parliamentary groupings within the EU Parliament which MEPs can be part of which tend to have thrilling exciting names such as the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, the Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left or the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament

Those are not based on national lines so you have MEPs from different member states in the same gouping depending on whether they can vaguely agree on stuff.

The political groups aren’t exactly parties, more loose coalitions.

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