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Picking a European Parliament president: how does it work?

brussels bureau

Picking a European Parliament president: how does it work?

So how do MEPs choose who gets to be the next head of the European Parliament, the EU’s only directly elected institution?

Here is a quick reminder with everything you always wanted to know, but you were afraid to ask.

MEPs will vote for the next president by secret ballot on Tuesday.

There can be up to three rounds in which a candidate needs to secure an absolute majority.

In the European Parliament, that means a majority of all MEPs, including those absent or not voting.

There are 751 of them, so the magic number is 376 votes.

And what if there is no winner after those first three rounds?

MEPs will vote in a final fourth round with the top two candidates from round three.

The winner needs only a simple majority this time – just a majority of those parliamentarians present.

If there is still a tie, the older candidate will get the top job.

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brussels bureau

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