European political parties nominate their lead candidates at congresses in the autumn and winter 2018. They will present and debate their political programmes for the future of Europe in live debates to be held during the election campaign in 2019.

A European political party is one that operates at European level and comprises national parties with elected parliamentarians in at least a quarter of the member states. New funding rules for European political parties and foundations were approved in April 2018.


European People’s Party (EPP)

The European People’s Party (EPP) elected Manfred Weber (CSU, Germany) as its lead candidate for the European elections on 8 November 2018, at the Helsinki party congress.

Weber, 46, started his political career in the regional Parliament (Bayerischer Landtag) in 2002 and was elected to the European Parliament in 2004. Since 2014, he has served as the chairman of the EPP group. The candidate obtained his degree in physical engineering at Munich University of Applied Sciences. @ManfredWeber


Party of European Socialists (PES)

The lead candidate of the Party of European Socialists (PES), Frans Timmermans, 57, was nominated by the members’ congress in Lisbon on 7-8 December 2018.

Timmermans (PvdA, Netherlands) currently serves as First Vice-President of the European Commission. He was first elected to the second chamber of the Dutch Parliament in 1998. From 2007 to 2010 he served as Secretary of State for European Affairs, and from 2012 to 2014 as Minister of Foreign Affairs in Mark Rutte’s cabinet. Mr Timmermans holds a degree in French language and literature from Radboud University. @timmermansEU


Reformists Alliance of Europe (ACRE)

Jan Zahradil (Civic Democratic Party, Czech Republic) was designated as the lead candidate for his party on 14 November.

Zahardil, 55, is member of the European Parliament (ECR group) since 2004 and serves as the President of Conservatives and Reformists Alliance of Europe (ACRE). Before 2004, he was a member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic. Mr Zahradil is a researcher by profession, holding an engineering degree from the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. @zahradilJan

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

During its Madrid congress, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) party announced their plans to designate a team of liberal leaders, instead of a single “Spitzenkandidat”, to campaign in the European elections. The ALDE party president was tasked to suggest a team of up to 9 people, which will be endorsed at an electoral congress in Berlin in early 2019.


European Green Party

Ska Keller, 37, and Bas Eickhout, 42, are the two lead candidates nominated by the European Green Party (EGP) for the European elections at its 23-25 November congress in Berlin.

Ska Keller (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, Germany) studied Islamic Studies, Turkology and Jewish Studies at the Free University Berlin and the Sabanci Üniversitesi Istanbul. Elected to the European Parliament for the first time in 2009, she ran as the EGP lead candidate in the 2014 European elections campaign. Keller is co-chair of the Greens group in Parliament. @SkaKeller

Bas Eickhout (GroenLinks, Netherlands) studied Chemistry and Environmental Science at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. He later became a researcher at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. He has been a member of the European Parliament since 2009.  @BasEickhout

Further updates on other political parties to come.


back to top