The European elections will take place from 6 to 9 June 2024

The date of Europe’s next major democratic event is now known. The next European elections will take place from 6 to 9 June 2024, according to an agreement reached this Wednesday by the ambassadors of the Twenty-Seven and announced by the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This will be the first election after the departure of British MEPs in January 2020, following Brexit. Portugal, which requested another date because of a public holiday on 10 June, was not heard.

The election of MEPs, which is held every five years by universal suffrage, is already in the sights of all the major European parties because it should mark a change in the balance of power in the chamber. The three major parliamentary groups that currently form the “von der Leyen majority”, namely the conservatives of the EPP, the social democrats of the S&D and the centrists of Renew, are expected to experience numerical declines. Will they want to associate the Greens with their club to give it more weight? What impact could the announced rise of the ECR group of Eurosceptics led by Giorgia Meloni, the President of the Italian Council, have?

Ursula von der Leyen, candidate for her succession?

The relatively late date of the election also raises questions about the timetable for the appointment of the president of the new European Commission. It usually takes place before the summer, which allows the hearings of the commissioners designated by the Member States before the new Parliament to be held in September.

Next year, this appointment could take place after the summer, according to parliamentary sources for whom this is of no real importance. The new executive could therefore take office on 1 December 2024, as in 2019 when there was a slight delay on the “usual” timetable.

The current President of the European Commission, the German Ursula von der Leyen, from the ranks of the EPP, has not yet indicated whether she would be a candidate for her own succession, but this hypothesis seems very likely. In any case, she has already received positive signals from Berlin, although her party, the CDU, is in opposition in the Bundestag.

The European Parliament, co-legislator with the Member States on almost all major issues, currently has 705 elected members. The number of MEPs from each country depends on the size of the population, with smaller countries having more seats than if the principle of strict proportionality were applied.

The balances between the political families then determine the presidencies of the main European institutions (Parliament, Commission, European Council) and the identity of the head of European diplomacy.

Elections usually begin on a Thursday (the day the Netherlands traditionally votes) and end on a Sunday (voting day in most countries, particularly in France). For the first time, young Belgians aged 16 to 18 will be able to vote in the European elections in June 2024. This innovation concerns 280,000 young adults.

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