A year of change for the European Union?

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
The European Council, now headed by Donald Tusk (C), may want to decide who replaces Jean-Claude Juncker (C-L) as European Commission president this autumn (source: dpa)
  • The EU faces wholesale leadership changes after the May Euro-parliament elections
  • ECB head Mario Draghi may well be replaced by a like-minded compromise candidate
  • The next European Commission president may surprise, as the favorite looks vulnerable

There will be many occasions for redefining the EU’s priorities this year. Apart from Brexit day, 2019 will see many moments of decision and institutional changes in Europe. Nearly all the Union’s leading institutions – the European Commission, the Council of the EU, the European Council and the European Parliament – are due to be renewed within a few months. The European Central Bank (ECB) will appoint a new president, partially replace its Executive and Supervisory Boards, and hire a new chief economist.

The stars seem perfectly aligned for the EU-27 to shift gears in 2019, since its new Multiannual Financial Framework will also be adopted this year. The upcoming seven-year budget, covering the period 2020-2027, will define how much the EU plans to spend and on what. Its new leaders thus have an opportunity to secure the financial means for innovative policies.

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