EU flags

A staff member sets up EU flags ahead of a European Union leaders summit after European Parliament elections to discuss who should run the EU executive for the next five years, in Brussels, Belgium, May 28, 2019. 


Piroschka Van de Wouw/Reuters

National parties in the newly elected European Parliament line up in pan-EU groups. These are in some flux following the vote, especially on the Eurosceptic right, but in the outgoing legislature the eight groups were:

European People's Party (EPP — 180 seats in new legislature)

Lead candidate: Manfred Weber, 46, German, EPP parliamentary leader

Center-right: Favors free trade and business

Notables: German Chancellor Angela Merkel; outgoing European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker; Italian ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi; Polish EU summit chair Donald Tusk; Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, who is at risk of being expelled for anti-EU nationalism.

Socialists and Democrats (S&D — 146 seats)

Lead candidate: Frans Timmermans, 58, Dutch, deputy head of European Commission, former foreign minister

Centre-left: Favors worker's rights, minimum corporate tax 

Notables: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez; Italian ex-premier Matteo Renzi; Swedish and Portuguese premiers.

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE — 109)

Lead candidates include: Margrethe Vestager, 51, Danish, EU antitrust commissioner, former economy minister; Guy Verhofstadt, 66, Belgian, ALDE leader, former prime minister

Liberal center: favor free trade, stronger EU integration

Notables: French President Emmanuel Macron, though he is yet to formally link to ALDE; Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte; premiers of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Estonia

Greens (69)

Lead candidates: Ska Keller, 37, German, MEP since 2009; Bas Eickhout, 42, Dutch, MEP since 2009

Ecology: Left-leaning, seek clean energy and environment

Notables: No national leaders; EU party leader, veteran Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts; one high-profile government figure was Joschka Fischer, German foreign minister 1998-2005

European Conservatives and Reformers (ECR — 59)

Lead candidate: Jan Zahradil, 55, Czech, MEP since 2004

Eurosceptic: Founded in 2009 when British Conservative leader David Cameron quit EPP to oppose deeper EU integration

Notables: Polish ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski; Flemish nationalist N-VA leader Bart de Wever; Jimmie Akesson of anti-immigration Sweden Democrats; and — for this week at least — British Prime Minister Theresa May

Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF — 58)

No lead candidate; expect the group to reshuffle after election

Anti-immigration: Founded in 2015 by French National Rally's Marine Le Pen and Dutch Freedom Party's Geert Wilders

Other notables: Matteo Salvini, Italian deputy premier from The League, the biggest far-right party in new Parliament

Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD — 54)

No lead candidate; expect the group to reshuffle after election

Anti-EU: Formed in 2014 by Nigel Farage, then leader of UK Independence Party, now of the Brexit Party; key ally Italy's 5-Star expected to shift to a more centrist group after the election

Other notables: Italian deputy premier Luigi Di Maio of 5-Star; Joerg Meuthen, co-leader of Alternative for Germany

European United Left (GUE — 39)

Lead candidates: Nico Cue, 62, Belgian, trade union leader; Violeta Tomic, 56, Slovenia, actor, Slovenian parliamentarian

Far left: Anti-austerity, want more spending, trade control

Notables: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras