While the final decision about the top-posts of the European Commission has yet again become a topic of discussion, we have taken a closer look at the people, who will be heading the 7 political groups of the European Parliament for the next 5 year.
The chairman of the biggest political group is Manfred Weber. He will be chairing the Group of the European People’s Party (EPP). Earlier, he was the Spitzenkandidaten for EPP, but did not get any top-postion in any of the EU institutions. He has been a MEP since 2004 and been chairing the EPP group since 2014. Weber is German and a member of the Christlich- Soziale Union in Bayern (CSU), which is a ‘sister party’ to Merkel's CDU. Politically, he is most known for bringing forward a proposal in the European Parliament about “free train tickets for young people”.
Iratxe García is the president of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D). She is Spanish and a member of Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol, and like Weber, she has been a MEP since 2004. In the Parliament, she is most known for her work for women's rights and gender equality. She started out as a substitute and later became a member of the Committee on Womens’s Rights and Gender Equality. In the last term, she ended up being the chairman.
The third largest group in the parliament is Renew Europe - the liberals in the European Parliament, previously known as Alliance of Liberal and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). The new president of the Renew Europe group is Dacian Ciolos. He is Romanian, and this is his first term as a MEP. Formerly, he has been commissioner for agriculture from 2009-2014. Afterwards, he became prime minister in Romania while Klaus Iohannis was president. His biggest political achievement is to increase transparency in the public Romanian institutions.
The Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) have a shared chairmanship with Ska Keller and Philip Lambert in the lead. They were both a part of the co-presidency in the last term. Ska Keller is a member of Die Grünen in Germany and was the Spitzenkandidaten for the Greens/EFA. Philip Lambert is a member of Ecologistes Confédérés pour L’Organisation de Luttes Originales in Belgium. In the European Parliament, he is a member of the Conference of Presidents who organize plenary sitting agendas, the Parliaments timetable, and much more.
The president of the Identity and Democracy (ID) group in the European Parliament is the Italian Marco Zanni, who has been a MEP since 2014. He is a member of Lega, which is lead by the Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini. ID is the newest established political group in the European Parliament, and it also includes Front Nationale, Alternative für Deutschland, Dansk Folkeparti and others.
European Conservatives and reformists (ECR) are co-chaired by Ryszard Legutko and Raffaele Fitto. Fitto is Italian and has been a MEP from 1999 to 2000 and again since 2014. Legutko is Polish and has been a MEP since 2009 and co-chair since 2017. Besides being co-chair, they are also both members of the Conference Presidents, Committee on Budgetary Control and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs in the coming term.
Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) have not elected a president yet and the acting chair is therefore the German Martin Schirdewan, who has been a MEP since 2017.