Why is it worth participating in the European elections?
The election of the EP representatives is an intriguing process. Though it has been organised since 1979, no uniform, pre-decided date and rules exist today. It is only broadly decided when voters of the member states should go to the poll in each country. Member states can choose freely when to settle the date for the elections between 22th and 25th May in 2014, and since Hungarians usually organise these kind of events on Sundays, we vote on 25th May this year. Fortunately, we will not have to fret ourselves for a long time because the results will become available that exact night.
At the same time, the regulation of the process may different state by state to a certain extent. In Hungary, one votes for closed party lists, but in certain countries, voters can even have a say in the order of these lists. Another alternative is the so-called “mixed system”. Apart from these bare data, it might also interest you what the terms of being a candidate are; who knows, you may also participate! Firstly, you have to attain full growth (18 years in most countries); however, nobody becomes a candidate in Italy, Greece, and Cyprus unless he is older than 25. Specifically, in Hungary, a wide range of incompatibilities exists; members of parliament, judges, the prime minister or the head of state cannot hold this office. After all these, you can decide if you want to challenge yourself in the elections!
The new parliament summoned in 2014 is going to have 751 members, from which Hungarians posses 21 places. This appears to be either a big or a small number. Germany sends the highest number of representatives (96), while Cyprus, Malta, Estonia, and Luxembourg have to content themselves with 6-6 places.
Hungarian mandates are distributed with the help of the D’Hondt method, which is one of the easiest ways of distribution. Votes for party lists are fixed on a piece of paper, then the half, third, etc. part of these numbers are written under the sum of the votes. After that, they seek the highest common measure, which is the number of obtainable votes, then they choose the highest number from the table. The party which has that number, gains a mandate. This goes on until every mandate is held by somebody.
And finally, why is it worth dealing with this process for you? We can elect the European Parliament directly, while we don’t have such a role in electing the bodies of all the other EU institutions. Thus, it seems the European Parliament “lays” the closes to us, and so we entrust it with our own representation. What is more, the influence of the Parliament is increasing in decision-making, so you can have a say in the changes of economic, environmental and migratory issues among others. If you take advantage of your rights and opportunities, you can also affect the future of the EU. You can have an influence on the life of that particular community in which you yourself live. Let your fate be in your hands!
Translated by Dóra Horváth