The European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee has elected its chair and two vice-chairs for the first two-and-a-half years of the parliament’s term, it has been announced.

Elections of two other vice-chairs have been postponed.

MEPs decided, by 29 votes in favour to 16 against, with two abstentions, to postpone the elections of the third and fourth vice-chairs until the next meeting on July 23.

German MEP and member of the European People’s Party (EPP) Norbert Lins was elected chairperson of the committee, securing 36 votes compared to his competitor Maxette Pirbakas’s 11.

Portuguese MEP and Green Party politician Francisco Guerreiro was elected first vice-chair, while Romanian EPP MEP Daniel Buda secured the role of second vice-chair.

Upon his election Lins said there is “a lot of work ahead of us”, especially when it comes to the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and stressed that farmers and consumers “are waiting for us to deliver”.

Three Irish MEPs returned to the EU’s agriculture committee: independent MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan; Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness; and Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy.

Election procedure

According to the parliament’s Rules of Procedure, the committee, at its constitutive meeting, shall elect, in separate secret ballots from among its full members, a bureau consisting of a chair and vice-chairs.

Where the number of nominations corresponds to the number of seats to be filled, the election could take place by acclamation.

If there is more than one candidate on a given ballot, or members of a political group or at least one fifth of all committee members request a vote, the election shall take place by secret ballot.