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As new leaders take over the European Union's core institutions, the first signs are not promising -- and in particular those coming from the European Parliament.Here, the European Parliament has been ground zero.For the European Parliament, von der Leyen's nomination was unwelcome, because her name was not on the shortlist of candidates that it had pre-announced.According to the European Parliament's so-called Spitzenkandidaten system, the European Council should nominate the "lead candidate" from the political group winning the most seats in the European elections. This process was drawn up by Brussels insiders prior to the 2014 elections as a way of carving out more influence for the European Parliament than EU treaties stipulate. When the Spitzenkandidaten system and the European Parliament's confirmation powers were developed, the Parliament was dominated by two political groupings: the European People's Party, and the Socialists and Democrats. More broadly, von der Leyen pledged to support initiatives that would enhance the European Parliament's power, including the Spitzenkandidaten system.The European Parliament has obtained its current powers by elbowing its way into relevance and into the treaties.The European Parliament is today a mature institution.
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