Monday

5th Dec 2022

Magazine

Which parties and countries chair the EP committees?

  • The size of committees varies hugely - from 21 (fisheries, the smallest) to 71 (foreign affairs, the largest) members

The MEPs in the European Parliament's committees are divided up among 20 standing committees and two sub-committees (Human Rights (DROI) and Security and Defence (SEDE)), specialising in concrete areas of EU's policymaking.

At the beginning of a new legislature, the parliament decides which MEPs will sit in which committees - based on the preferences expressed by them.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Each committee elects a chair and up to four vice-chairs amongst its full members

However, the size of committees can vary significantly - from 21 (fisheries, the smallest) to 71 (foreign affairs, the largest) members.

Belonging to a political group has a direct impact on the representation of MEPs in the different committees.

Unequal breakdown

The biggest group of the EU parliament, the European People's Party (EPP) has the largest representation (33.3 percent) of chair committees, followed by the socialists (S&D) with 23.8 percent and the liberals Renew Europe with 19 percent.

However, the smallest political groups receive very few committee chairs.

This is the case for the Greens/EFA and the conservatives (ECR), which have only two committee chairs (9.5 percent) and the leftist group NGU/GUE, which only leads the committee on regional development, with French MEP Younous Omarjee (4.8 percent).

According to the parliament, "non-attached members can nominate individuals to committees and delegations, but they are unlikely to be elected to positions as committee chairs or to be appointed rapporteurs on significant dossiers".

The breakdown of the parliament's chair committees by nationality is also uneven.

Germany and France are significantly represented with five and four committee chairs respectively leading important EU policymaking areas, such as foreign affairs, agriculture, security or environment.

Three Belgian MEPs lead the committees of the internal market and consumer protection, budget and the sub-committee of human rights.

The UK, Spain, and Italy have each two committee chairs, while Sweden and Slovakia have only one.

Final vacancy

Since the withdrawal of the chair of the committee on industry, research, and energy (ITRE) Romanian MEP Adina-Ioana Vălean, who is currently commissioner-designate for transport, central and eastern European countries are largely under-represented at committee chair level.

In replacing Vălean, the members of ITRE must try to keep gender and geographical balance.

Additionally, it can be expected that the chair committee will be from the EPP (the same political party of the commissioner) -designate, according to a spokesperson of the parliament.

However, other parties can also present their candidates, who are considered first by the committee coordinators before all members of ITRE have a final vote.

Likewise, ITRE will have a new chair committee only once the new commission is approved, since Vălean is still officially an MEP.

You can read more about who is who in the parliament's committees in our latest magazine.

Green MEPs unconvinced by Romanian commissioner

The answers of Romanian's new commissioner-designate for transport, Adina-Ioana Vălean, did not manage to convince MEPs from the Greens group, who will ask her additional questions concerning environment and consumer rights.

Anti-separatist Spanish MEPs dominate liberty committee

The European Parliament's powerful civil liberties committee (Libe) has elected anti-separatist Spanish MEPs for its chair and vice-chair positions. The issue risks complicating efforts by pro-Catalan factions to have the debate on independence raised to the EU level.

Investigation

The EU committee's great 'per diem' charade

Around 30 members of European Economic Social Committee, who live and work primarily in Brussels or nearby, have claimed €1.47m in a 'daily subsistence' allowance from European taxpayers to cover accommodation, food and local transport for meetings held in Brussels.

Magazine

Six priorities for human rights

Belgian socialist MEP Marie Arena is chairing the European Parliament's sub-committee on human rights. Her biggest challenge? Finding ways to reach objectives that cover an enormous spectrum of issues - from climate to child protection.

Magazine

EU must manage climate and industry together

For Romanian centre-right MEP Adina-Ioana Valean, the previous chair of environment committee and current chair of industry, research and energy (ITRE), climate and industrial policy-making must go hand-in-hand to bring sustainability and prosperity to Europe.

Magazine

ENVI to deliver 'Green Deal' as main priority

The French liberal MEP Pascal Canfin, who is chairing the European Parliament's committee on environment, public health, and food safety, is adamant to deliver the Green Deal quickly - because "we cannot afford to waste time".

Magazine

Welcome to the EU engine room

Welcome to the EU engine room: the European Parliament (EP's) 22 committees, which churn out hundreds of new laws and non-binding reports each year and which keep an eye on other European institutions.

Magazine

Which parties and countries chair the EP committees?

Although the European Parliament tries to keep a geopolitical balance within the committees, the breakdown of the actual chairs of the committees by political party and nationality is uneven - with a clear under-representation of central and eastern EU countries.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. EU countries struggle to crack Hungary's vetos
  2. Frontex expanding migrant route-busting mission in Balkans
  3. EU ministers in fresh battle on joint debt, after Biden subsidies
  4. EU: 'We'll see' if Moscow actually stops selling oil over price-cap
  5. Bad Karma
  6. Serbia now has no choice but to join EU sanctions on Russia
  7. Hungary's funds showdown in focus This WEEK
  8. EU must break Orbán's veto on a tax rate for multinationals

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Committee of the RegionsRe-Watch EURegions Week 2022
  2. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  4. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  6. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us