The 26 May ballot may have profound implications for the future of Europe.
From 23 to 26 May, all Europeans are called to the polls for the European elections. If we say "elections", there are several: 28 separate elections in 28 countries. Because you, as a Frenchman, are not going to participate in the same election as your Italian or German neighbors.
1. 74 MEPs chosen by the French
In France, you will vote May 26 (or the 25th in some overseas territories), and will have the choice between 33 different lists. All have 79 names, and are composed almost exclusively of French candidates.
The results will be announced on the evening of May 26. All lists that make less than 5% are eliminated. The others share the 74 French seats in the European Parliament proportional:
2. 751 MEPs from 28 countries
The same thing happens in the other 27 European countries, with a few details. But the number of MEPs depends on the population of the country: the most populous country, Germany elects 96, against only 6 in the small Malta. In total, the next European Parliament will count 751 seats if the Brexit does not take place before the elections, and 705 in case of departure from the United Kingdom.
3. The composition of the political groups
In July, the 74 French deputies arrive in Parliament. To function, the assembly needs to structure itself into political groups, each of which will have a speaking time and places allocated in the key positions. Members of the different countries are therefore grouped by political affinities to constitute parliamentary groups.
4. The election of the Speaker of Parliament
Parliament is almost in place, but one detail is still missing: you have to elect a president. Like this one is elected by absolute majority by MEPs, the group with the most MEPs is likely to win the presidency of Parliament.
5. The installation of the European Commission
The Parliament is in place, but we still have to renew the leadership of the European Commission, the equivalent of the European Union government, by first choosing its president.
During the summer, the different European governments agree to propose a candidate for this post. This name must be sufficiently consensual to be approved by a majority coalition of MEPs, who vote to validate the nomination, after having auditioned the candidates.
here is the different possible scenarios :
At the end of the summer, each European government proposes one of its nationals to join the European Commission alongside the new president. From this list of 26 names, the President of the Commission distributes the portfolios (culture, environment, trade, taxation …), as a prime minister who would compose his government.
Each of the new Commissioners is heard individually by the European Parliament, which has the power to reject their appointment if it does not suit them.
In November, the process is normally over: according to the Brexit has already taken place, Europe has a Parliament of 705 to 751 elected and a college of 27 or 28 Commissioners, which more or less reflects the balance political forces in Europe. They will have to work together for five years with the 27 or 28 European governments to pass laws and support the European Union.