Thursday

27th Apr 2017

EU elections to be held in May next year

  • Voting day was to clash with people's holiday plans (Photo: Steve Rhodes)

EU countries have opted to change the date of the EU elections next year in order to increase turnout.

Diplomats in the EU Council's so-called working party on general affairs agreed on Friday (8 March) to move the European Parliament vote from 5-8 June 2014 to a day between 22-25 May next year instead.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The decision is to be rubber stamped by EU ambassadors later this week and finalised by EU ministers and by MEPs shortly afterward.

"Some delegations initially objected due to national constitutional reasons, or because they wanted to avoid problems linked to the timing of regional elections, but in the end there was a unanimous agreement," an EU official told this website.

The idea was originally put forward by the European Parliament last March.

British Liberal MEP Andrew Duff said the assembly could do with extra time in order to prepare for the election of the next European Commission President, a major new task under the Lisbon Treaty.

The EU official quoted above said another big reason was to increase turnout.

The Christian feast of Pentecost, which commemorates the visitation by the Holy Spirit to the apostles after the death of Jesus Christ, falls on 8 June next year, meaning that many people might be away on holiday and not bother to vote.

Turnout has become an embarrassment for EU institutions in recent years.

The EU average peaked at 62 percent in the first election in 1979, but fell in every vote since then to hit 43 percent in the last one, in 2009.

Voters in individual countries, such as Lithuania (21% in 2009) and Poland (25%), showed even less interest.

Parliament chief criticises 'Frankenstein Europe'

The EU's current institutional set-up resembles a 'Frankenstein' monster because there is no democratic separation of powers, European Parliament chief Martin Schulz has said.

European elections marked by record low turnout

The turnout in the 2009 European elections was the lowest ever since direct elections for the house started thirty years ago, with Slovakia getting the lowest score for the second time in a row. Updated 8 June 4pm

Give pan-EU parties TV airspace, MEPs say

Pan-EU political parties should be allowed to make TV broadcasts in EU elections next May, in the latest idea on how to bring the race to life.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Controlling the right of repeal

There was a distinct air of finality about Sir Tim Barrow's personal delivery of the Article 50 letter in Brussels – it certainly marks the end of an era.

Be fair in Brexit talks, EU tells UK

European Council chief Tusk sent draft guidelines to member states. He said the EU wants "fairness" and then warned against using security cooperation as bargaining chip.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  2. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  3. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  5. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  6. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  7. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  8. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  9. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  10. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  12. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate

Latest News

  1. Russische Fake-News überschwemmen die sozialen Medien Frankreichs
  2. EU agency stuck with London rent bill
  3. EU anti-fraud office ditches Martin Schulz probe
  4. Commission launches bid to make Europe social
  5. MEPs act to strip Le Pen of immunity in fake jobs case
  6. EU starts legal action against Hungary
  7. Brexit is about Europe's future as well
  8. Power struggle in Greenland: Three reasons why the EU should care