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Apparently the EP was using terms like majority and opposition even before 2009 (when I first encountered it). PES considered themselves to be in opposition.

And although there are no ministerial jobs to hand out (until the EP grasp control of appointment of the entire commission (subject to the rules of nationalities among the commissioners, of course)), there are however committee chairmanships to hand out. Remember that after the 2014 election, EFDD lost the chairmanships they would get if the previous strictly  D'Hondt method had been followed, and ALDE were instead rewarded.

But Farage's Parliamentary faction, the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group, will not obtain the committee chair it is entitled to, the Greens warned.

This is because the posts are voted on by the committee members in a secret ballot and the main parties have struck an agreement among themselves to share the spoils.

Hermann Kelly, a spokesman for the EFDD, denounced "a behind closed-door coup" by the three main pro-European parties - the European People's Party (EPP), the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

That could be the beginning of coalition forming, depending on how it evolves this time around.

When it comes to the agenda, it is true that the Commission and Councils largely sets it. But the more the EP appoints the Commission, the more sway the EP will hold over the Commission, and thus the agenda, reducing the Council to more of a house of deliberation.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 10:22:47 PM EST
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Interestingly, Hermann Kelly, the spokesperson for the EFDD you mention, got all of2,441 votes, or 0.67% of the vote in the Dublin Constituency, so his credibility is not especially high. If the d'Hondt method is not enshrined in law, then there is no such thing as being "entitled" to committee chairs. MEPs vote for whoever they want for the job, and coalition building is a standard approach to dividing up the spoils. I don't see Westminster governments handing over ministerial posts to opposition spokespeople, or indeed Westminster seats being awarded in proportion to votes cast under the FPTP system.

As for the European Council, I see it evolving into something more approaching the US Senate, ensuring individual states are not run over rough-shod, but otherwise becoming just a second chamber in a bicameral system. The US Senate also has privileges in confirming appointments and conducting foreign policy not accorded to the House, but it is the House which ultimately controls the budget.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 11:57:13 PM EST
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that appears to be the goal of (some) incumbent and new MEPs. Progress!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 02:21:02 PM EST
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