The new European Parliament – what’s at stake?

Dear colleagues,
I would like to share with you some first impressions from our Head of Policy, Sabine Terlecki, on the new European Parliament and its elected parliamentarians.

Sabine was in Strasbourg and had the chance to follow many of the developments in person.
By Sabine Terlecki:
Following the European elections in May, the new members of the European Parliament (MEPs) gathered in Strasbourg last week for their first session. I was in Strasbourg on behalf of the CONCORD secretatiat to see what the new Parliament has in store for development. Out of the 751 MEPs in total, 396 are new.See the map of MEPs by country.
A (new) president of the new European Parliament
As its very first action, the new Parliament elected its President for a term of 2,5 years. Mr. Martin Schulz, from the Socialists and Democrats group (S&D), was voted in receiving an absolute majority. He is the first EP president to serve two consecutive terms. In his opening speech he outlined that the EP is the heart of democracy, and that 100 years after the first world war and 75 years after the second world war, democracy can only be built on the respect for dignity of human beings.
Furthermore, he highlighted how important it is to work on migration and that it needs more money for development. Later in the week the Parliament also elected 14 vice-presidents. The vice-presidents will have thematic portfolios.
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Italy took over the helm of the EU Council from Greece
On 1 July, Italy took over the EU presidency. The Strasbourg plenary session heard the achievements of the outgoing Greek Presidency and the Italy’s priorities. . The European Parliament should work closely with the presiding member state to ensure that the EU’s legislative programme functions smoothly. On 2 July, Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi came to Strasbourg and announced the government’s priorities for the six-month presidency period, and the MEPs discussed what the EU should deal with in the next six months. Renzi highlighted that European leaders should act with conviction and determination to keep Europe in the lead on global issues. In the weeks to come, Italian ministers will discuss these priorities in more detail in EP committee meetings.
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(the logo of the new Italian Presidency)
Committee’s membership lists approved
Last week the composition of parliamentary committees was also set for the new term. There are now twenty committees and two sub-committees. The numbers of MEPs to
sit in them were approved reflecting the political balance of the House. You can find the committee’s membership lists (Read more: Composition of parliamentary committees set for the new term ).
New members of the EP Development (DEVE) committee
We would also like to congratulate the new chair of EP DEVE committee, MEP Linda McAVAN, Labour, and the other new members of the committee, especially the ones who have been already champions of our issues beforehand such as MEPs Neuser, Goerens, Hautala, Cretu amongst others. Please find the list of the full members of the DEVE committee here. You also might find interesting to look at the formal mandate of the standing committees , which outlines their power and responsibilities. In order to welcome all new key MEPs and to provide them with a brief introduction to CONCORD, we developed a MEP induction package.
First coordinators meeting in July
In their first meeting end of July, the coordinators of the political parties for the DEVE committee will decide on the thematic priorities of the committee, the committee hearings for the next year and on the standing rapporteurs.
This is a key moment for CONCORD to influence, and our EP Elections Taskforce is already active in shaping the post-election phase. We will target the commissioner hearings, organise an influencing event for our national platform members to meet their MEPs in October as well as a workshop for the new MEPs and assistants on CONCORD in November.
Stay tuned!
For more information please contact Sabine at Sabine.terlecki@concordeurope.org or Francesca at Francesca.Minniti@concordeurope.org