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European elections 2014

The European Parliament will be elected on 22 – 25 May 2014, for its next 5-year term. It will legislate jointly on EU policy with the Council of the EU.

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The European Parliament

As the only EU body directly elected by EU voters, the Parliament represents the EU's 500 million inhabitants. It is one of the EU's main law-making institutions, along with the Council of the European Union, which represents the governments of the EU member countries.

How many MEPs will be elected?

The new Parliament will have 751 members (750 MEPs and 1 President). Seats are allocated among EU countries on the basis of 'degressive proportionality'. This means that more populous countries have more seats than smaller ones, although smaller countries are slightly over-represented, relative to their size. The number of MEPs ranges from 6 for Malta, Luxembourg, Cyprus and Estonia to 96 for Germany.

Who can vote?

Voting in European elections is subject to national law. EU laws determine fundamental principles – that voting must be by direct universal suffrage, free and confidential. And MEPs must be elected in each EU country on the basis of proportional representation.

What's new?

The 2009 Lisbon Treaty now requires that EU governments – meeting in the form of the regular summit, the European Council – take the results of the European elections into consideration when proposing the new commission President. This President will then have to be voted and elected by the European Parliament.

Meanwhile, a Parliament resolution adopted in 2013 calls for parties from across the political spectrum to put forward candidates for this job. These candidates would then present themselves and what they stand for in person, in all the EU countries.


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