With 383 votes in favour, the European Parliament elected Ursula von der Leyen President of the next European Commission in a secret ballot on 16 July.
She is set to take office on 1 November 2019 for a five-year term. There were 733 votes cast, one of which was not valid. 383 members voted in favour, 327 against, and 22 abstained.
Parliament currently comprises 747 MEPs as per the official notifications received by member state authorities, so the threshold needed to be elected was 374 votes, i.e. more than 50% of its component members. President Sassoli formally announced the requisite number before the results were revealed in plenary. The vote was held by secret paper ballot.
EP President David Sassoli said:
“On behalf of Parliament, I congratulate you on your election as President of the European Commission.
Now begins a very important phase for the European institutions; we will have to prepare for the hearings of the Commissioners-designate, which, as you know, will be very thorough on the part of the members of this Parliament.
We expect that the issues you spoke about today in front of the plenary chamber will also be examined in depth and followed up by the members of your college during the hearings in the competent Parliament committees.
The next few years will be very important for the future of the European Union and we can only tackle them successfully if there is close and full cooperation between the institutions.”
The Commission President-elect will now send official letters to the member states’ heads of state or government inviting them to propose their candidates for members of the Commission. Hearings of the nominees in Parliament’s competent committees are scheduled to take place from 30 September to 8 October. The full college of Commissioners then needs to be elected by Parliament, most likely in its 21-24 October session. More information here.