Thursday

23rd Jan 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 join 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.

News in Brief

  1. UK watchdog unveils online child-privacy standards
  2. Alleged 'bully' nominated for EESC presidency
  3. Greens/EFA fail to agree on accepting Catalan MEPs
  4. MEPs approve over 55 gas projects for EU funding
  5. Italy deputy PM Di Maio quits as Five Star party leader
  6. EU investment bank to keep pressure on Turkey over gas
  7. 'Rare' migrant boat from Belgium to UK sinks
  8. First annual rule of law report expected this year, Reynders said

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. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. EU warned on 'vigilance' after Davos spy fail
  2. What's Libya's impact on EU foreign policy?
  3. EU commission 'lacks ambition' on future conference
  4. Will US privacy-lite hollow out GDPR?
  5. Senior Polish member at EU body faces Belgian abuse probe
  6. Why isn't Germany helping gay rights in Hungary, Poland?
  7. US retiree, scammed by former EU official, awaits justice
  8. Vienna-Brussels night train returns amid EU green talk

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us