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Video: European Parliament elections — how does Spitzenkandidat process work?

Video: European Parliament elections — how does Spitzenkandidat process work?
By Alasdair Sandford
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Several people are in the race to replace Jean-Claude Juncker for the EU's top job. Here's how the bloc's next Commission President will be elected.


When it comes to the European Union, the Commission President is the most powerful figure, tasked, among other things, with setting the bloc's policy agenda.

The battle to replace Jean-Claude Juncker has started in earnest with Spitzenkandidaten — German for lead candidates — travelling around the 28-country bloc and taking part in televised debates ahead of the European parliamentary elections on May 23-26.

But do you know how this powerful job is actually handed out?

Watch Euronews' Alasdair Sandford break it all down in the video player above.

In the past, the appointment process was seen as murky, taking place behind closed doors in negotiations between leaders of the different member states, each keen to further their own political agenda.

The Spitzenkandidat system was created to make the process more transparent.

Political groups in the EU Parliament each select a nominee ahead of the election. The job is then given to the candidate whose group has secured the most seats provided the EU Council — made up of EU leaders — and parliament both approve.

If a majority cannot be obtained, then the Council has to propose an alternative, which parliament must once again vote on.

Not totally convinced? You're not the only one. Some EU leaders have come out against this process and called for another system.

READ MORE: 28 things you might not know about the European elections

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