European elections allow you to elect the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) that will represent you in the European Parliament. They are organized every 5 years during the same period in every country on the European Union, the next elections will take place between the 23 and the 26 of May 2019. Each country will receive a number of seats proportionally to its number of citizens.
The elections influence directly the European parliament. It is the only body of the EU whose members are directly elected by the European citizens, which means you !
The Parliament counts currently 751 MEP (Complete list of MEP) but in 2019, there will only be 705 MEP left. Indeed, with the entry into force of the Brexit in March 2019, there will no longer be British MEP. The European Union took this opportunity to rebalance the composition of the European parliament et allocate additional seats to 8 Member States that were under represented.
When you’ll be voting for the next elections, you will have to choose between candidates from 8 political groups:
- Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats)
- Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
- European Conservatives and Reformists Group
- Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
- Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left
- Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
- Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group
- Europe of Nations and Freedom
- Non Inscrits in the European parliament ( it’s the name given to the MEP who are not attached to any political group, often coming from the far right).
The MEP’s elected in the European parliament participate to public debates and play an essential part in the preparation of the European Union policies. The Parliament and the Council of the European Union decide together the laws that have an impact on your daily life as a European citizen. When the European Commission makes a law proposal, those two institutions modify and vote the text.
The MEP’s are spread between committees in order to better distribute the workload. Those committees are made of 25 to 73 full members and as many substitute members. They analyse the law proposals, propose modifications and select a team to conduct the negociations with the Council of the EU. There are 20 in total:
The European parliament can also create special temporary committees for specific fields as:
The Parliament also weigh in on certain fields on which it is not a decison-maker, the Member States keep a veto power in those fields but can sometimes beneficiate from support measures from the EU for those fields.
Although the functioning of the European parliament can seem hard to understand, it is pretty close to the one from the national parliaments of Member States; it can pass laws, control their application and that they are respected, manage the day-to-day politics and the budget of the Union.
- Must be 18, 19, 21, 23 or 25 depending on the country;
- Must be a UE citizen (in some countries, the non-EU citizens can vote if they satisfy the eligibility conditions for their country of residence);
For more information on the conditions and the eligibility to vote, please contact your local administration or click here
In some countries of the European union, voting is mandatory and it take place usually at the same time as federal elections. For the other countries, citizens who wish to participate to the elections must register on an electoral roll in the municipality where they reside.[:]