Thursday

27th Feb 2020

Give pan-EU parties TV airspace, MEPs say

European political parties should be allowed to make political broadcasts in European Parliament elections next May, according to a report backed by MEPs on Tuesday (28 May).

The report - drafted by Andrew Duff, a British deputy in the Liberal group - also says national election authorities should put the names and emblems of pan-European parties on ballot papers across the EU.

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 2009 election had a lousy turnout despite a PR campaign (Photo: European Parliament/Pietro Naj-Oleari)

The Duff report is not legally binding.

But it is the latest part of wider efforts to make sure next year's elections will amount to more than 28 separate national campaigns.

"The 2014 election campaign will be more interesting, more European and more political than previous elections," said Duff following the vote in the constitutional affairs committee, which endorsed his paper by 20 to 4.

In another new twist, the big EU political groups are to publicly nominate candidates for the post of European Commission chief months in advance of the poll.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is seen as a favourite for the centre-right EPP group candidate.

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Martin Schulz, the German head of the EU parliament, have been touted as possible candidates for the centre-left S&D faction.

Former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt is a potential Liberal group runner.

The commission job is expected to go to the group which tops the vote in the Parliament elections, due between 22 and 25 May.

The date of the vote itself has been moved forward to avoid summer holidays and improve turnout.

In the 30 years between the first EU parliament elections in 1979 and the last one in 2009, turnout has fallen fro over 60 percent to 43 percent.

Meanwhile, the assembly has evolved from a 'talking shop' to a real co-legislator alongside national ministers in the EU Council.

In 2009, the EPP came top with 265 seats or 36 percent of the vote.

The Socialists suffered a horrible defeat, claiming just 183 seats (25%).

For 2014, the European Greens were the first party to launch the selection process for their commission chief candidate.

Party members and supporters will vote online in a pan-European primary next January and February to select two names, one of whom will go into the commission race.

With establishment groups in many EU countries bearing the brunt of frustration over their handling of the EU economic crisis, next year's results might be less predictable than usual.

Agenda

EU elections on the agenda this WEEK

European Parliament elections will feature on the agenda this week after a poll to choose 12 new MEPs in Croatia on Sunday.

'Fragmented' Slovakia goes to polls amid corruption woes

Saturday's elections in Slovakia could herald the rise of the far-right People's Party Our Slovakia, or the emergence of a populist anti-corruption candidate, in a country wracked by mistrust since the assassination two years ago of an investigative journalist.

German ex-commissioner Oettinger lands Orban job

Hungary's PM Viktor Orban appointed controversial former commissioner Guenther Oettinger to a government council in a way that might break EU rules. Oettinger claims he did not know about the appointment.

EU leaders face major clash on rule of law budget link

One major issue dividing member states in the ongoing budget negotiations is inserting a direct link between EU subsidies and the rule of law. While the biggest battle will be over figures, the rule of law conditionality also creates tension.

Analysis

Is Belgium heading for new elections?

Belgian coalition talks have hit a wall nine months after elections, posing the possibility of a new vote, which risks making the country even harder to govern.

Five new post-Brexit MEPs to watch

Five MEPs to keep an eye on from the 27 new members who are joining the European Parliament this week, following the UK's departure from the EU.

Stakeholders' Highlights

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

Latest News

  1. WHO on coronavirus in Europe: 'be prepared'
  2. Frontex hits activist pair with €24,000 legal bill
  3. Turkish jets keep violating Greek airspace
  4. 'Fragmented' Slovakia goes to polls amid corruption woes
  5. EU development policy needs a fresh start
  6. EU critical of China on Swedish dissident publisher
  7. NGOs urge EU to tackle meat consumption 'problem'
  8. Coronavirus: voices from a quarantined Italian town

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us