New European Parliament in Session

The new European Parliament held its first plenary session in Strasbourg on 1 July. The first item on the agenda was the election of the President and Vice-Presidents. The candidate who obtains an absolute majority in a secret ballot is elected President. German MEP Martin Schulz was re-elected as President with 409 votes for a two and a half year term. The Parliament will now elect 14 Vice-Presidents on a single ballot. It also decides on the composition of each committee and sub-committee, which in turn elect their Chairs and Vice-Chairs. The first committee meeting will take place on 7 July in Brussels.

The EPP (European People’s Party) is the largest political group in the new Parliament with 221 MEPs, followed closely by S&D (Socialists and Democrats) with 191. The third largest group is the ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists) with 70 MEPs and the fourth ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats) with 67 MEPs. There are three smaller groups, GUE/NGL (European United Left/Nordic Green Left), Greens/EFA (European Free Alliance), EFDD (European Freedom and Direct Democracy) plus 52 non-attached members not belonging to any particular group. 

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