After the the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU at the beginning of this year, the number of MEPs increases from 732 to 785. Romania has 35 MEPs and Bulgaria 18. All of them now join existing or new political groups in the Parliament, but their arrival has not substantially changed the balance of the Chamber.
- 4 Bulgarian and 9 Romanian MEPs join the European People’s Party (EPP-ED) bringing the total to 277.
- 6 Bulgarian and 12 Romanian MEPs join the Socialist PSE group bringing the total to 218
- 7 Bulgarian and 9 Romanian MEPs join the Liberal ALDE group giving them a total of 106.
- 1 Bulgarian and 5 Romanian MEPs join a new political group which was created yesterday, called „Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty“ (ITS) – which also includes members from France, Belgium, the UK, Austria and Italy.
Changes to the structure of the Parliament
The new MEPs were nominated by their national parliaments. Some have been „Observers“ at the European Parliament since the end of 2005. Both countries are due to hold elections this year – during which MEPs will be elected.
As the number of MEPs now rises from 732 to 785, the minimum number of votes for qualified majority (for the adoption of second-reading amendments in co-decision, for example), is now 393.
After the next European elections in 2009, the figure of 785 will fall to 736, of which 33 will be from Romania and 17 from Bulgaria.