Friday

20th May 2022

Parliament demands pan-EU candidates and vote

  • The plenary in Strasbourg backed a proposal to create transnational lists (Photo: European Parliament)
Listen to article

Voters should be allowed to cast their ballots for 28 European lawmakers on so-called transnational lists, says the European Parliament.

Supported by a majority of MEPs in a vote on Tuesday (3 May), the idea still needs to get a stamp of approval from the EU member states.

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

Voters will be faced with two votes, if the measure goes through: one for their own national list and a second for the transnational one.

Spanish socialist lawmaker Domènec Ruiz Devesa, who spearheaded the legislative initiative in the EU Parliament, is hoping to get it approved in time for the 2024 European elections.

He told reporters that the negotiations will already start with the French EU presidency on Wednesday in the hopes that the 27 EU states will then fall in line.

"We want to introduce this novelty for elections in 2024," he said.

Some 314 MEPs voted in favour of creating a Union-wide constituency, while 297 against.

The naysayers mostly included the far-right (ID), conservatives (ECR), and the centre-right (EPP). But opponents also included dozens from the far-left, socialists and liberals, including former European Commission vice-president Andrus Ansip.

Supporters of the lists also want to revive a system of selecting candidates to take on the job of European Commission president.

The plan is to have candidates seeking the commission president nomination, also known as Spitzenkandidat, to lead the pan-European lists.

Other ideas, which were also adopted, would lower the voting age to 16, offer postal voting options, guarantee gender equality and improve the voting rights of people with disabilities.

The European Disability Forum (EDF), a Brussels-based umbrella organisation, supported the proposal.

In a statement after the vote, its president Yannis Vardakastanis said it "would help ensure that all persons with disabilities enjoy the same political rights as any other citizen."

Some 14 EU states currently deprive people with disabilities of their right to vote, says the EDF.

It also says only eight countries in the EU allow all persons with disabilities without exemptions to stand for office.

Some 323 MEPs voted in favour of the bill as a whole. Another 262 opposed and 48 abstained.

Opinion

The democratic swindle of the Spitzenkandidat

The Spitzenkandidat system has become an instrument of the promotion of MEPs (often German), and was supposed to make Europe more democratic. Reality has revealed the opposite.

Magazine

The Spitzen process - a coup that was never accepted

It is a divisive 'Brussels bubble' debate: whether to give the European Parliament more of a say on who becomes the next European Commission president. But the issue goes right to the heart of European integration.

EUobserved

The de facto demise of the Spitzenkandidaten idea

Several European parties have selected more than one lead candidates for the EU elections - thereby defeating the entire notion of 'electing the European commission president'.

EU lobbies Hungary to break oil sanctions deadlock

After the EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen's Budapest trip, Hungary suggested it wants EU funds to offset the extra costs from receiving different oil sources, and the increased energy prices the planned Russian oil embargo entails.

Opinion

Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine - the case for granting EU candidacy

Granting EU candidacy status to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine will firmly anchor their ties with Brussels — and enable the EU to secure its place in the Black Sea region, connecting Europe to China and energy-rich Central Asia, bypassing Russia.

Opinion

The EU Parliament Covid inquiry: the questions MEPs must ask

A basic lack of transparency around the EU's vaccines procurement negotiations has prevented effective public and parliamentary scrutiny. It has also made it impossible to answer some of the key questions we put forward here.

News in Brief

  1. Half of Gazprom's clients have opened rouble accounts
  2. Macron seeks 'quick' EU answer on Moldova application
  3. German chancellor to tour Western Balkans
  4. UN: more than 8,000 civilians killed or injured in Ukraine
  5. EU agrees new minimum gas storage target
  6. EU justice agency to have more roles on war crimes
  7. More than 50,000 Ukrainians refused entry into EU in 2021
  8. Germany open to EU treaty change 'if required'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. MEPs urge sanctioning the likes of ex-chancellor Schröder
  2. MEPs call for a more forceful EU response to Kremlin gas cut
  3. Catalan leader slams Pegasus use: 'Perhaps I'm still spied on'
  4. More EU teams needed to prosecute Ukraine war crimes
  5. French EU presidency struggling on asylum reforms
  6. EU states warn of looming food-price crisis
  7. Ultraconservatives in Putin's shadow
  8. Nordic Bridges unveil latest highlights of Spring programme

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us