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European elections 2019: A round-up of the week's best stories

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By Lindsey Johnstone
Image of Lord Buckethead taken from his campaign website
Image of Lord Buckethead taken from his campaign website

Welcome to our weekly round-up of Euronews' EU election coverage.

With one month to go until voters across Europe head to the polls, this week we're explaining exactly what the European Parliament does, examining the role of data electioneering in a post-Cambridge Analytica age and meeting three very different candidates – one who believes it's high time the European Commission had a female president, one who plans to create an EU FBI to fight terrorism and one who vows to both vanquish Nigel Farage and bring back Ceefax.

What does the European Parliament do?

Turnout at the European elections has been on a downward trend ever since the first ballot 40 years ago, with the perceived complexity of how things work in Brussels one frequently posited explanation.

As part of a series outlining the form and functions of the key EU institutions, here we explain the role of the European Parliament – the EU's legislative arm and the only one of its institutions directly elected by its citizens.

Manfred Weber: Fighting nationalists

In his bid to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president, European People's Party leader Manfred Weber has laid his cards on the table, with 12 key pledges. As well as vowing to "fight against nationalists who want to destroy Europe" and work to "completely remove anti-Semitism from the continent" he plans to mobilise 10,000 European border guards by 2022, create a European FBI to fight terrorism and create five million jobs across the EU to tackle youth unemployment.

Manfred WeberReuters

Question time

Also hoping to take the top job is Green MEP Ska Keller, who kicked off our series of interviews with those in the running to be the next Juncker. Keller said climate change is "now on the top of the agenda where it belongs" and that it was "about time" the Commission had a female president, as she discussed the Greens' double leadership as a measure against gender inequality. Regarding the migration crisis, Keller suggested the EU take responsibility over who it sells arms to.

View: Cambridge Analytica

Data and politics researcher Gary Wright argues that Cambridge Analytica remains relevant, even from beyond the grave. A year on from the revelation that the firm, which supported Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in psychometrically-analysing voters based on their digital footprints, had improperly accessed the personal data of millions of Facebook users, he asks whether it's business as usual for data-driven electioneering in the run-up to the EU elections.

Bucket list

Lord Buckethead has announced his plan to run against (or "vanquish") Nigel Farage in the elections, releasing a manifesto that pledges the resurrection of Ceefax, regeneration of a shopping centre in Maidenhead, a referendum about whether there should be a second Brexit referendum, the nationalisation of singer Adele, free bikes for everyone to prevent bike theft, and cessation of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, to be replaced with buying lasers from Lord Buckethead.

And in news from elsewhere...

The Guardian:The Euro candidates have achieved the impossible – turned me into a Brexiteer

Euractiv:A divided European Parliament risking paralysis?