Friday

10th Apr 2020

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

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

... or subscribe as a group

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.

Analysis

First 100 days: Digital and Green Deal policies hit by crises

The first 100 days of Ursula von der Leyen's commission were supposed to be about the digital and environmental transitions. However, that agenda has been hit by first the coronavirus, and now the Greek border situation.

News in Brief

  1. Migrants trapped on boat in Tripoli due to shelling
  2. EU anti-crisis budget 'could be up to €1.5 trillion'
  3. Western Balkan states appeal for EU help with masks
  4. Spain's lockdown could be extended until 10 May
  5. IMF: Pandemic crisis will be worse than great depression
  6. German economy minister expects progress on EU deal
  7. Italian PM: EU is at risk if no deal on recovery plan
  8. Belgian region to block EU Green Deal

This is the (finally) approved European Commission

MEPs gave the green light to the entire new European Commission during the plenary session in Strasbourg - but with the abstention of the Greens and a rejection by the leftist group GUE/NGL.

Magazine

Welcome to the EU engine room

Welcome to the EU engine room: the European Parliament (EP's) 22 committees, which churn out hundreds of new laws and non-binding reports each year and which keep an eye on other European institutions.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking Europe’s Economy Circular – the time is now
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  3. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms

Latest News

  1. How the EU's virus-alert agency failed
  2. Flemish nationalists torpedo Belgium Green Deal pledge
  3. Eurozone agreed €500bn cushion against virus blow
  4. Why Europe must act now, and on a big scale
  5. EU court blocks Poland's bid to 'frighten' judges
  6. Coronavirus sees approval-rating soar for EU leaders
  7. EU science chief who 'quit' had been told to resign
  8. EU delays 'exit strategies' plan, as WHO urges caution

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us