Six months that will change the face of the EU


Brussels (AFP)

This week's election of parliamentarians from 28 EU member states is the prelude to a complete overhaul of European institutions by the end of 2019.

Here are the main steps to remember:

- May 23 to 26 -

The 2019 European Parliament election gets under way on Thursday with voting in Britain and The Netherlands.

On Friday, Ireland votes, while in the Czech Republic voters will have two days -- Friday and Saturday -- to make their choices.

Latvia, Malta and Slovakia will also vote on Saturday.

Then, on Sunday, the other 21 member states including big players Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Poland will take their turn.

The European Parliament in Brussels hopes to publish a rough projection of the results vote at 1800 GMT.

Then when polling stations close in Italy later in the evening at 2100 GMT, the national authorities will begin to release official tallies.

- May 28 -

Two days after voting, the leaders of the 28 members meet for summit dinner -- or an extraordinary European Council as it is known in Brussels.

Here, Council president Donald Tusk will take their temperature and nudge them towards consensus on choosing nominees for top EU jobs.

- June 20 and 21 -

It may be ambitious -- in 2014 it took three months and three summits -- but Tusk hopes to finalise the nominees list at the June 20-21 summit.

The leaders will hopefully pick names to lead the European Commission, the Council, the Central Bank, the EU foreign policy post and the parliament.

- July -

Two working sessions are planned at the European Parliament in July.

The first, from July 2 to July 4, will seat the new assembly.

The second, from July 15 to 18 should vote to confirm the Council's choice to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the European Commission.

- Autumn -

At the end of summer, parliament will sort through nominees from the 28 member states to join the new president on his commission.

The new executive body is expected to take office on November 1 and the new president of the European Council will start in December.