Sunday

19th Jan 2020

Leak: Far-right MEP to chair legal affairs committee

  • Election of the previous chair of the agriculture committee, early 2017. (Photo: European Parliament)

The European Parliament's legal affairs committee will be led by an MEP from the far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) political group, according to a provisional agreement leaked to EUobserver.

ID is also promised the chair of the agriculture committee. A spokesman for the group confirmed at a press conference on Friday (28 June) that those two committees are the ones ID has set its eyes on.

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The parliament has 22 committees that need new leadership: a chairperson and up to four vice-chairs. They have a mandate for two and a half years.

The chairperson not only presides over committee meetings, but also decides on its draft agenda, and can be an observer at negotiations on legislation known as trilogues.

It is customary for the leaders of the political groups to distribute the posts among their groups, using a weighting system that takes the number of seats into account. The ID group has just over nine percent of the seats and was therefore entitled to around that percentage of committee chairs.

The centre-right European People's Party (EPP), which remained the largest group following the May elections, will supply the chairpersonship of seven committees, according to the leaked draft.

It will have MEPs leading the budgetary control committee, the industry and research committee, and the foreign affairs committee, among others.

The second-largest, the centre-left Socialists & Democrats (S&D), will have five, while number three, the liberal group Renew Europe will have three.

S&D members are set to lead the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, the economic and monetary affairs committee, the women's rights and gender equality committee, the human rights subcommittee, and the international trade committee.

Liberals meanwhile will chair the environment committee, the fisheries committee, and the security and defence subcommittee.

The Greens have clinched the transport committee and the internal market and consumer protection committee.

The name of the anti-federalist European Conservatives & Reformists group is written next to the budgets committee and the employment committee, while the smallest group, the far-left GUE/NGL, is left with the regional development committee.

The final decision of the distribution is expected to be made on Sunday (30 June) when group leaders meet at a so-called conference of presidents.

A decision on which particular MEP will be nominated for the chairpersonships will be decided internally by the groups later.

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