23-26 May 2019
The next European elections take place on 23-26 May 2019 giving all adult EU citizens the
opportunity to select who will represent them in the European Parliament. Help shape Europe’s future and vote!
The last European elections in 2014 were the largest transnational elections ever held at the same time. This time the stakes are even higher. By voting, you help decide what kind of Europe we have in the years to come.
The European elections in May 2019 will have a direct impact on your life. They will decide how Europe will act in the coming years to address your concerns about jobs, business, security, migration and climate change.
Because Europe belongs to all of us, we should all take these decisions together. So it’s not only important that you vote, but also your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues. When everybody votes, everybody wins.
Casting your vote
Although there are some common rules regarding the elections, some aspects can vary by country, such as whether it is
possible to vote by mail or from abroad.
Specific details such as who the candidates will be and where your local polling station will gradually become available. For
the latest data, check with your national election authority.
If you live in another EU country, you should be able to vote for your MEP there. If your country of origin allows voting from
abroad, you might also have the option to vote there instead. To know if this is a possibility, check with your embassy. Of
course, you can only vote once. So you either vote in your county of origin or in your new host country, not both.
Taking it one step further
Voting is not all you can do. You can play a crucial part in getting more people to vote and set the direction for the EU.
Sign up and play your part in promoting democracy .
Why should you vote in the European elections?
The European Parliament has done much to help improve different parts of your life over the last few years. Work will need to continue in the next term. Check out this overview and share the reasons you find most important with your friends.
The EU is involved with many things, from boosting trade to protecting consumers and stimulating research. It is changing your city and region. Find out how the EU has benefited you .
How do MEPs represent me?
The European elections is about selecting who you want to represent you as an MEP and defend your interests in the EU. Not only can MEPs shape and decide on new legislation, they also vote on new trade agreements, scrutinise the EU institutions and how your tax money is spent, as well as launch investigations into specific issues.
The European elections in detail
Every five years EU citizens choose who represents them in the European Parliament, the directly-elected institution that defends their interests in the EU decision-making process. Voting practices vary across the EU, but there are also some common elements. Here is a brief overview of how Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) get elected.
How many MEPs from each country?
The allocation of seats is laid down in the European treaties. It takes into account the size of the population of each country, with smaller countries getting more seats than strict proportionality would imply. Currently, the number of MEPs ranges from six for Malta, Luxembourg and Cyprus to 96 for Germany.
The rules say that some form of proportional representation should be used when electing MEPs. This system ensures that if a party gets 20% of the votes, it will also win roughly 20% of the contested seats, so both larger and smaller political parties have the chance to send representatives to the European Parliament.
Countries are free to decide on many other important aspects of the voting procedure. For example, some split their territory into regional electoral districts, while others have a single electoral district.
Countries in the EU have different voting traditions and each one may decide on the exact election day within a four-day span, from Thursday (the day on which the Netherlands usually vote) to Sunday (when most countries hold their elections).
Who runs in the elections?
Elections are contested by national political parties but once MEPs are elected, most opt to become part of transnational political groups. Most national parties are affiliated to a European-wide political party (see below for more information) so one of the big questions on election night is which of these European groupings will exert greater influence in the next legislative term.
Having a say on who will top the Commission
In the 2014 elections main European political parties nominated for the first time their candidates for a president of the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU. The candidate of the European People’s Party went on to get the Commission president post after obtaining the approval of a majority in the new Parliament.
Thus, by voting in the European elections, citizens not only had a say on who would be in charge of proposing and running EU policies.
European political parties are expected to propose their top candidates for the 2019 elections as well.
European political parties
A political party at European level is composed of national parties and individuals and is represented in several Member States. It is national parties that contest the European elections but they would often be associated to a European political party, and after the elections they would join a political group in the European Parliament with like-minded parties from their political family.