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Oriol Junqueras will be the European Free Alliance's (EFA) Spitzenkandidat, in other words, the head of their electoral list for this May's European election and their candidate for president of the European Commission. The decision, formalised today in a meeting in Brussels, was formally announced this evening. It's the first time that EFA, which normally stands with the Greens in the European Parliament, has designated its own Spitzekandidat.

Last October, Junqueras was proclaimed ERC's lead candidate for the 2019 European Parliament election. He had then been in pretrial detention for a year over his role in the 2017 independence referendum. His trial in the Supreme Court in Madrid is ongoing. It was also announced today he will head ERC's candidacy for the Spanish general election on 28th April this year.

The leading candidates for president are Manfred Weber for the European Peoples Party and Frans Timmermans for the Party of European Socialists. Also standing are Ska Keller and Bas Eickhout for the Greens and Jan Zahradil for the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe.