The European Parliament elected Ursula von der Leyen as President of the next European Commission on 16 July 2019. Von der Leyen is due to take office on 1 November 2019 for a period of five years. 733 votes were cast, 383 members voted in favour, 327 against, 22 abstained and one vote was held to not be valid. The European Parliament currently comprises of 747 MEPs. Accordingly, in order to be elected as President, Von der Leyen required to secure 374 votes (more than 50% of the component members). The vote was held by secret paper ballot.

The European Parliament President David Sassoli provided:

“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.”

Official letters are due to be issued from the Commission President-elect to the heads of state or governments of each Member State, 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 2019 to 8 October 2019. The full college of Commissioners is then required to be elected by the European Parliament. This is most likely to occur during its 21-24 October 2019 session.

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