Wednesday

29th Jun 2022

MEPs keen to shine spotlight on EU elections

  • Parliament: Member states should raise awareness about the EU vote, says the report (Photo: Luc Mercelis)

The European Parliament on Thursday (4 July) agreed a series of proposals designed to highlight the first-ever political race for the post of European Commission chief.

The resolution urges European political parties to name their candidates "sufficiently well in advance" of the European Parliament elections on 22 May 2014.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The aspirant Presidents should "personally" present their political programme in all 28 member states and there should be "a series of public debates" between the nominees.

In a bid to raise awareness of the existence of EU-level political parties, the resolution suggests the party's names should appear on the ballot sheet and that they should have campaigning spots on national TV.

The resolution also calls on member states to "organise a public campaign to encourage citizens to turn out to vote," with turnout reaching a historic low of 43 percent in 2009.

EU commission vice president Viviane Reding, whose name is often mentioned as a potential candidate for the centre-right EPP, said she welcomed the move to "reinforce the direct role of EU citizens in Europe’s democracy."

UK Liberal MEP Andrew Duff, who drafted the report, said that the vote - as with national votes - could have real consequences.

"If I were from a country under a Troika programme, I would be in front of the polling station early in the morning on 22 May 2014," he tweeted, referring to the groups of EU and International Monetary Fund officials which oversee bailouts.

The European Commission, as one of the international lenders for bailed-out countries, has been a strong advocate of austerity measures to quickly rein in budget deficits.

The commission is also the guardian of the EU treaties and the sole EU institution allowed to initiate laws.

The 2014 EU election is being billed as a highly symbolic poll.

MEPs are keen to raise the turnout amid fears that people see the EU as part of the problem in the economic crisis.

Klaus Welle, the secretary general of the parliament, recently noted that the race between commission candidates is unlikely to make a big impact next year, but for subsequent EU elections it is set to become a "major factor."

The EU treaty says leaders have to choose the commission president "taking into account" the election.

Thursday's resolution says it expects the nominee put forward by the party winning the most seats in the election "will be the first to be considered."

EU opens door to Ukraine in 'geopolitical' summit

EU leaders will also discuss eurozone issues with European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde, as more and more leaders are worried about voters' distress at soaring inflation.

Opinion

The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

News in Brief

  1. Bulgaria expels 70 alleged Russian spies
  2. EU Commission told to improve CAP data analytics
  3. Scotland pushes for second independence vote in 2023
  4. Climate groups: G7 leaders 'backsliding' on climate
  5. Ukraine diplomat urges German MEPs to reject EU taxonomy
  6. EU asylum requests were climbing before Ukraine war
  7. Public sector journalists protest Macron tax plan
  8. EU engine ban splits Germany's coalition

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  2. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  4. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic think tank examines influence of tech giants

Latest News

  1. EU ministers sign off on climate laws amid German infighting
  2. EU presidency still looking for asylum relocation pledges
  3. Finland and Sweden to join Nato, as Erdoğan drops veto
  4. The euro — who's next?
  5. One rubicon after another
  6. Green crime-fighting boss urgently required, key MEP says
  7. G7 leaders want price cap on Russian oil
  8. Western public has 'moral' duty to Ukraine, Nato chief says

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us