Head of European Commission:José Manuel Barroso
Head of Council of the European Union:Miguel Ángel Moratinos
Head of the European Council:Herman Van Rompuy
Members of European Parliament:736
Last election:4-7 June 2009
Next election:due in June 2014
European Parliament Elections
In 2009 a total of 736 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were elected to represent approximately 500 million Europeans, making these the biggest trans-national elections in history. The EPP (Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)) became the biggest group in the Parliament, winning 265 seats. The S&D (group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament) came second with 184 seats, while ALDE (group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) took 84 seats. The remaining seats were distributes as follows: GREENS/EFA (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance): 55 seats; ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists Group): 54 seats; GUE/NGL (Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left): 35 seats; EFD (Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group): 32 seats; and 27 seats went to non-attached/independent candidates.
The turnout in the 2009 European elections was the lowest ever since direct elections for the Parliament started thirty years ago, with Slovakia getting the lowest turnout for the second time in a row. The overall turnout of 43 percent (for some of the countries the turnout estimates are based on preliminary results) is more than two points lower than in 2004, which was then the lowest in the parliament's history at 45.47 percent.
Besides Belgium and Luxembourg where voting is compulsory and turnout is traditionally around 90 percent, the figures were highest in Malta, where almost 79 percent of the citizens cast their vote. By contrast, only 19.6 of Slovaks voted in the elections. In the country's first EU election in 2004, it registered the lowest ever score in the EU's history at 17 percent. Lithuania came second to last with 20.9 percent – a dramatic drop compared to its first election in 2004, when almost half of Lithuanians voted (48.4 percent). The EU's newest members, Bulgaria and Romania, showed opposing trends, with Bulgarians demonstrating more voting enthusiasm (37.5 percent - up from 29 percent in the country's first elections in 2007) than their northern neighbours (27.4 percent - down from 29.5 percent in 2007).