European Parliament appoints President, Committees chairs and Commission PresidentComments Off on European Parliament appoints President, Committees chairs and Commission President

On 20 July, the newly enlarged European Parliament started its  five-year term by electing Spanish MEP Josep Borrell Fontelles President with 388 votes out of 732. The other candidates, Polish MEP  Bronislaw Geremek, who was supported by the Liberals and French MEP Francis Wurtz gained 208 and 51 votes respectively.

MEP Borrell’s victory follows an agreement between the Parliament’s two biggest groups – the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and Socialists – to share the Parliament’s presidency. According to this agreement, the socialist will lead the parliament for the first half of the five-year legislature while the EPP candidate takes over in the second half.

During the week, MEPs  also established the twenty standing Committees of the 2004-2009 legislature and elected the Chairs and vice-Chairs of each formation. Some of the Committee Chairs are:

  • Employment and Social Affairs: Ottaviano del Turco (PES, Italy)
  • Environment, Public Health and Food Safety: Karl-Heinz Florenz (EPP-ED, Germany)
  • Industry, Research and Energy: Giles Chichester (EPP-ED, United Kingdom)
  • Internal Market and Consumer Protection: Philip Whitehead (PES, United Kingdom)

MEPs also appointed José Manuel Durão Barroso as Commission President on Thursday 22 July. The former Portuguese Prime Minister was supported by 413 MEPs. Mr Barroso will take office on 1 November. He will now form the new Commission. The commissioner designates will have parliamentary hearings in October.

For further information see the European Parliament Press Room