What exactly is MEP

"We seem dusty," writes SPD politician Sawsan Chebli. "We have to become younger, cooler, more open," says CSU boss Markus Söder. Both attribute the crash of their parties in the European elections to generation issues.

They actually look a bit old.

34 of the 45 MPs who move into the EU Parliament for the Union and the SPD are older than 45 years. In both parties and in the AfD, 45 to 59-year-olds are the largest age group among German MEPs, i.e. members of the European Parliament. This roughly reflects the age of their respective voters. The SPD has the youngest MP - but Delara Burkhardt is also the only Social Democrat under 30. The oldest MP is Klaus Buchner (78), the only MP of the ÖDP.

The fact that the Union and the SPD could have lost touch with young people, especially on environmental issues, was recently shown by the Fridays for Future strikes and the dispute with Youtuber Rezo. If the voting age had been lowered to 16, as the SPD, Left, Greens and Volt are calling for, the last two in particular would have benefited.

Most Green MPs are between 30 and 44 years old. They lower the average age significantly: right before the election, the average German MEPs were 56 years old - now it is around 49 years. This roughly corresponds to the average age in the current Bundestag. This means that the MEPs are now closer to the average age of the total population, which is around 44 years. The median age of German MEPs is 50 years. That means: there are just as many MPs under 50 as there are over 50 years.

There are also clear differences between the parties when it comes to gender distribution.

Only among the Greens and Leftists are the majority who identify as women. There is a quota of exactly 50 percent in the SPD, which also expressly calls for a quota for women in the EU Parliament, and in the case of free voters. All other small parties have one or two seats each with men: the party, Volt, ÖDP, the family party, the animal protection party and the pirates. In the minority are registered as female members of the FDP, Union and AfD.

The distribution within the parties is therefore similar to that in the Bundestag. A total of 35 of the 96 German MEPs are women. This means that the quota of women is 36.5 percent - which is slightly higher than before, but in the long-term trend the proportion of women among Germans seems to be stagnating. The proportion in the Bundestag is 33.1 percent.

Although more MPs are younger than before, only one of them is a student: the Green and second youngest MP Niklas Nienaß, 27. Not all MPs have reported their occupation to the Federal Returning Officer, 17 have simply written "MEP". Others have stated, for example, "lawyer" or "graduate political scientist", which is why the professions are difficult to compare. What is striking, however, is that apart from those who apparently see themselves as professional politicians, only a handful of professions listed for which you do not need a university degree, for example a Steiger from the AfD or a hotel specialist from the Union. Two call themselves housewives: 54-year-old CDU member Sabine Verheyen and 50-year-old AfD MP Christine Anderson.

Almost 22 percent of the MPs have a doctorate or habilitation in line with the occupational information.

Most of the professors and doctors can be found at the AfD, which was originally considered the "professors' party" and whose top candidate is now being investigated on suspicion of abuse of title: he had been on the AfD list as "Prof. Dr. Gunnar Beck" until Doubts about his title surfaced. Few of the AfD voters are those with a university degree; right-wing populists are more popular among voters with a secondary school diploma or secondary school leaving certificate. Proportionally, the least of the Greens have given a title - although these are again the most popular among voters with a university degree.