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The new institutional cycle in the European Union began with the European Parliament elections on 22-25 May 2014, in which an unprecedented number of euro-sceptic candidates gained seats. The EP elected its President, Martin Schulz, in July.

The European Commission appointed its President Jean-Claude Juncker in July, following EP approval. The UK Government disapproved of the method of appointment, maintaining that this should have been a matter solely for the Heads of State and Government. On 10 September Jean-Claude Juncker revealed his proposed new Commission. The EP will approve the new College of Commissioners in October following hearings of individual nominees in September.

On 16 July the European Council could not agree on who to appoint as President of the European Council when Herman Van Rompuy steps down, or who to replace Catherine Ashton as High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

At the special European Council meeting on 30 August 2014, EU leaders decided to appoint the Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, as European Council President from 1 December 2014, and the Italian foreign minister, Federica Mogherini, as High Representative.

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