The EU`s Spitzenkandidaten procedure was successfully introduced at the European elections in 2014. The European parties reached an agreement that only persons, who had run as Spitzenkandidaten in the European elections, would be approved as candidates for President of the European Commission. However, after the European elections in 2019, neither a fragmented European Parliament nor the EU`s heads of state and government were able to agree on one of the candidates.
Yet, the Spitzenkandidaten procedure should not be abandoned. It should be embedded in a reform of the EU`s electoral law well before the next European elections in 2024. With the introduction of transnational electoral lists, European top representatives would be directly elected and European parties would be enabled to lead a more active election campaign at European level. The link between the European elections and the Presidency of the European Commission ultimately strengthens the democratic legitimation of the EU.
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