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17:30 - 19:00 11 February 2016

The making of a European President, and what needs to change for 2019


JZ Young Lecture Theatre | Medical Sciences and Anatomy Building (link Map)
Gower Street | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Nereo Peñalver García, Advisor, Cabinet of Martin Schulz, President of the Europea
Charles Grant, Director, Centre for European Reform
Julian Priestley, Former Secretary General, European Parliament

In November 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker took office as President of the European Commission, following Europe’s first presidential campaign. The biggest change in twenty years in the way the EU decides its leadership, this new way of electing the Commission President was meant to bring the process closer to the European citizens. Yet, it has also been called a “putsch”, organised by a small group of European politicians in a Europe in crisis. In the end, Europe's most powerful leading governments were forced to make a humiliating climb-down and accept the election of a leader they did not support, chosen by a process they opposed.

How did this new so-called ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process come about, how did work in practice, what were its problems, and what should be changed for the next round in 2019? What are its implications with a view to the UK’s debate on EU membership, and particularly to how democratic EU politics is?


Christine Reh
+44 (0)20 7679 8737 | c.reh@ucl.ac.uk


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