Opinion & Analysis

Building on the Spitzenkandidaten Model: Bolstering Europe’s Democratic Dimension

In the run-up to the May 2019 elections, the debate over the Spitzenkandidaten process – first introduced in 2014 – has been reignited.

Introducing a visibility contest for the top executive job in the European Union, with lead candidates competing for the post through campaigns across the EU, rather than through the meanders of the political process, was certainly not an uncontroversial innovation.

It has already borne its fruits, strengthening the connection between the three EU institutions, and paving the way for a more political Commission. But, with some small improvements, what started out as an experiment has the potential to be reproduced and strengthened, contributing to making European democracy more complete.

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