PapersPolitics and DemocracyIs the Spitzenkandidat process a waste of time?

Is the Spitzenkandidat process a waste of time?

By Centre for European Reform

The Spitzenkandidat (lead candidate) process has not fulfilled its promise of engaging the average voter. Still, it has helped ‘europeanise’ the European Parliament elections and is worth persisting with. Who should decide who becomes the President of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body? One option is the (democratically-elected) governments of the member-states. Another is the (democratically-elected) European Parliament. The Spitzenkandidat (lead candidate) process is a compromise that was supposed to give both intergovernmentalists and federalists some of what they wanted. This insight explains both why it has not worked as intended so far, and also why the European Parliament nevertheless should double down on it for the 2029 elections.

Full text version (PDF)

Author: Christina Keßler, Clara Marina O’Donnell Fellow

This article is available on the Centre for European Reform website.

Latest article

See more