News Publications

27 Mar 2024
The lead candidate process, know as "Spitzenkandidaten"

One of the major problems regarding the European Parliament’s elections, or European elections, as they are commonly known, is generally the low turnout of citizens, which many associate with the lack of legitimacy of the electoral process and thus of the European institutions. This was the reason for the creation of the lead candidate process, which was followed for the first time in the 2014 elections. Born within the European Parliament itself, the idea was to establish a link between the choice of the Members of the European Parliament and the choice of the executive, the European Commission. In simple terms, the European political parties choose their main candidates, and the most voted party’s candidate is designated as President of the European Commission.

This process, after the success of the 2014 elections, suffered a setback in 2019 with the election of Ursula von der Leyen instead of Manfred Weber, who was the main candidate of the European People's Party. In the course of 2024, the European parties have been presenting their main candidates as aspirants for the post of Commission President; it remains to be seen how the process will unfold. 

In this Special Edition European Elections 2024, Cruz Vilaça Advogados analyses the past and present of the Spitzenkandidaten process.

The lead candidate process, know as "Spitzenkandidaten"
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