German conservative Hans-Gert Poettering is expected to take over from Spanish socialist Josep Borrell as president of the European Parliament, after a vote by its members this Tuesday. The conservatives and socialists have a power-sharing arrangement. But there are four candidates for the post.
Like Poettering, the Danish president of the eurosceptic Independence/Democracy Group Jens Peter Bonde is one of only a handful of assembly members who have been there since its first direct elections in 1979. He is especially keen on transparency and decentralisation.
The manifesto of the Italian co-president of the European Greens Group Monica Frassoni is: ‘Building a Coalition for Change’. She wants to see a stronger parliament in EU decision-making.
French Communist Francis Wurtz is the current president of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left group. To be elected, the new parliament president will need an absolute majority of the votes, and the socialists and European People’s Party/European Democrats hold the lion’s share.