Tuesday

20th Aug 2019

MEPs keen to shine spotlight on EU elections

  • Parliament: Member states should raise awareness about the EU vote, says the report (Photo: Luc Mercelis)

The European Parliament on Thursday (4 July) agreed a series of proposals designed to highlight the first-ever political race for the post of European Commission chief.

The resolution urges European political parties to name their candidates "sufficiently well in advance" of the European Parliament elections on 22 May 2014.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The aspirant Presidents should "personally" present their political programme in all 28 member states and there should be "a series of public debates" between the nominees.

In a bid to raise awareness of the existence of EU-level political parties, the resolution suggests the party's names should appear on the ballot sheet and that they should have campaigning spots on national TV.

The resolution also calls on member states to "organise a public campaign to encourage citizens to turn out to vote," with turnout reaching a historic low of 43 percent in 2009.

EU commission vice president Viviane Reding, whose name is often mentioned as a potential candidate for the centre-right EPP, said she welcomed the move to "reinforce the direct role of EU citizens in Europe’s democracy."

UK Liberal MEP Andrew Duff, who drafted the report, said that the vote - as with national votes - could have real consequences.

"If I were from a country under a Troika programme, I would be in front of the polling station early in the morning on 22 May 2014," he tweeted, referring to the groups of EU and International Monetary Fund officials which oversee bailouts.

The European Commission, as one of the international lenders for bailed-out countries, has been a strong advocate of austerity measures to quickly rein in budget deficits.

The commission is also the guardian of the EU treaties and the sole EU institution allowed to initiate laws.

The 2014 EU election is being billed as a highly symbolic poll.

MEPs are keen to raise the turnout amid fears that people see the EU as part of the problem in the economic crisis.

Klaus Welle, the secretary general of the parliament, recently noted that the race between commission candidates is unlikely to make a big impact next year, but for subsequent EU elections it is set to become a "major factor."

The EU treaty says leaders have to choose the commission president "taking into account" the election.

Thursday's resolution says it expects the nominee put forward by the party winning the most seats in the election "will be the first to be considered."

Orban praises von der Leyen after first face-to-face

The EU Commission president-elect said she had a "good talk" with Hungary's controversial premier. Orban returned the praise, saying said the former German defence minister "thinks with [a] central Europeans' head".

Von der Leyen aims to 'rebalance Europe'

The German EU Commission president-elect hopes to bridge divisions within the EU, as she meets with EU leaders setting up her team of commissioners.

Johnson's call for new Brexit deal hits EU 'no'

The UK will not nominate a new EU commissioner, the new British PM said in his first address to parliament, and insisted that the Irish backstop can be renegotiated - without giving any specifics on alternative solutions.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Irish border plan is 'anti-democratic', Johnson tells EU
  2. Polish deputy minister targeted judges in hate campaign
  3. EU ends silence on Hong Kong protests
  4. Is Salvini closing just harbours or also the rule of law?
  5. No-deal Brexit would seriously harm UK, leaked paper says
  6. Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings
  7. EU asked to solve migrant rescue deadlock
  8. Internal EU paper: Second Brexit vote was no longer 'distant dream'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us