The division of seats between the different political groups. NI stands for non-inscrits, French for non-attached. These members are not part of a political group in the EP.
Seven political groups have now been recognised as fulfilling the necessary criteria and will be starting their work at next week’s plenary session in Strasbourg where Parliament’s top posts will be decided by MEPs. Parliament rules foresee that political groups should have at least 25 MEPs from seven different member states. Read on to find out more about the political groups and their leaders.
Political groups play an important role in setting the Parliament’s agenda, the allocation of speaking time for debates as well as choosing the EP president, vice-presidents, committee chairs and the MEPs who should be charge of steering new legislative proposals through Parliament. Also, groups enjoy additional support.
Each group is provided with a secretariat to take care of its internal organisation. Members of the political groups appoint a chair or co-chairs that represent the group in the Conference of Presidents.
These are the political groups for the 2014-2019 legislative term, in order of membership as of 24 June 2014:
Group of the European People's Party (EPP)
chair: Manfred Weber (Germany). This is his third term in the EP. In the last legislature he was a member of the constitutional affairs committee.
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D)
chair: Martin Schulz (Germany). He has been an MEP for 20 years and served as president of the European Parliament from 2012 until June this year.
European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR)
chair: Syed Kamall (UK). He joined the EP in 2005. In the previous term he was a member of the economy committee.
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)
chair: Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium). The Belgian former prime minister chaired the group during the last term too.
European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL)
chair: Gabriele Zimmer (Germany). It is her third term in the EP. She has chaired the group since 2012.
The Greens/European Free Alliances (Greens/EFA)
chair: Philippe Lamberts (Belgium) and Rebecca Harms (Germany) were elected co-chairs. Lamberts succeeds Daniel Cohn-Bendit (France). Harms already co-chaired in the last term.
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFD)
chair: Nigel Farage (UK) and David Borrelli (Italy). Mr Farage has been an MEP since 1999 and already co-chaired the political group in the last term. Mr Borrelli served as a city councillor in Treviso. This is his first term in Parliament.