After the elections what are the prospects for the European Union?

Whilst at the height of the euro crisis some forecast the disappearance of the single European currency, and even quite simply the collapse of Europe, what do things look like now just as the end of the crisis now seems to be turning into a reality? Europeans are particularly concerned about the future. A great majority of them believe that the lives of the young generation will be more difficult than theirs has been. Europe must therefore prepare to rise to the major challenges of tomorrow. How? – by promoting all of its existing assets and especially by improving its weak points. Several things might influence the way Europeans see the future positively: improvements in the economic situation first and foremost, also changes that are due to be made to the European institutions in the follow-up to the last election.

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Parliament elects Jean-Claude Juncker as Commission President

Parliament elects Jean-Claude Juncker as Commission President on July 15th 2014 in a secret ballot. 422 members voted in favour, 250 against, 47 abstained. The total number of votes cast was 729, 10 of which were non valid. The minimum number of votes required was 376. The new European Commission will take office on November 1st 2014 for a five year term. For the first time in the history of the European Union, the European Parliament elected – and not merely approved – the President of the European Commission following a proposal by the European Council, according to the rules laid down in the Lisbon Treaty (December 2009).

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New Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Parliamentary Committees

After the election of the President, 14 Vice-Presidents and 5 questeurs at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 1st and 2nd July last the Parliamentary Committees met on 7th July to elect their Chairs and Vice-Chairs for a period of two and a half years.

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Martin Schulz re-elected at the head of the European Parliament

On 1st July 2014, Martin Schulz president of the Group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament was re-elected as President of the European Parliament, with 409 votes out of 612. He received support from the European People’s Party and the Liberals, who wanted to counter Eurosceptics. Thus in two years and a half, a member of the center-right will take over him. Conservatives and reformists, the European United Left and the Greens had also presented a candidate.

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Composition of the European Parliament
(8th Legislature: 2014-2019)

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What is the European Parliament?

The European Parliament is an institution of the European Union, which is dual in nature:

> It is the only institution whose members are elected by direct universal suffrage for a 5-year term in office.

> It is the only institution whose powers have been extended as the treaties have been signed.

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