Procedure : 2015/0907(APP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0248/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0248/2018

Debates :

Votes :

PV 04/07/2018 - 6.2
CRE 04/07/2018 - 6.2

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0282

RECOMMENDATION     ***
PDF 456kWORD 59k
2.7.2018
PE 623.806v02-00 A8-0248/2018

on the draft Council decision amending the Act concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage, annexed to Council Decision 76/787/ECSC, EEC, Euratom of 20 September 1976

(09425/2018 - C8-0276/2018 - 2015/0907(APP))

Committee on Constitutional Affairs

Rapporteurs: Danuta Maria Hübner and Jo Leinen

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the draft Council decision amending the Act concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage, annexed to Council Decision 76/787/ECSC, EEC, Euratom of 20 September 1976

(09425/2018 – C8‑0276/2018 – 2015/0907(APP))

(Special legislative procedure – consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (09425/2018),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 223(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0276/2018),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 November 2015 on the reform of the electoral law of the European Union and to the annexed proposal for a Council decision adopting the provisions amending the Act concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage(1),

–  having regard to the reasoned opinions submitted, within the framework of Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by the French Senate, the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies, the Netherlands Senate, the Netherlands House of Representatives, the Swedish Parliament, the United Kingdom House of Commons and the United Kingdom House of Lords, asserting that the draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity,

–  having regard to Rule 99(1) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A8-0248/2018),

1.  Gives its consent to the draft Council decision;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1)

OJ C 366, 27.10.2017, p. 7.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

  In November 2015, Parliament adopted a proposal for the reform of EU electoral law that aimed to encourage citizens’ participation, to reinforce the European dimension of elections, to make Parliament’s own functioning more efficient, and to improve the conduct of elections. It was a necessary and much awaited step forward for European citizens, who in the past 40 years have been electing Members of European Parliament under the same old mainly national rules.

  After almost three years of intensive negotiations, the Council finally reached an agreement on this crucial reform for European citizens and the Parliament. This is a victory in itself bearing in mind the constraints of the procedure contained in Article 223 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which requires a unanimous position of the Member States.

Most importantly, this is the first successful attempt of Parliament to modernize the rules for the election of Members of the European Parliament since the adoption of the Electoral Act in 1976. It is a door-opener for a gradual and comprehensive reform of European elections. The draft Council decision was the maximum that could be achieved in the current political context and with the constraints of the procedure.

The draft Council decision amending the 1976 Act on the election of Members of European Parliament by direct universal suffrage contains a number of positive elements that will significantly improve the character and the conduct of European elections in the future:

•    The text is fully in line with the constitutional and electoral traditions of the Member States;

•    With the new rules citizens will finally be more aware of the link between the national parties and candidates running in the elections and their affiliation with a European political party. By accepting this proposal, we open the door for European issues to gradually replace national ones in the debate on European elections;

•    European elections will also become more accessible, with the possibility to introduce electronic and postal voting. This would mean that electoral turnout will increase and more citizens will have the possibility to cast their vote in a secure and comfortable manner;

•    Giving voting rights to EU citizens residing in third countries would have a profound impact on electoral participation, as more than 1.4 million EU-citizens are residing permanently in Switzerland alone. This important possibility is now acknowledged and is likely to be applied by many Member States after the entry into force of the new provisions;

•    The minimum deadline for the establishment of electoral lists will act as a safeguard against arbitrary last-minute decisions by national parties in the Member States;

•    Measures against double voting will strengthen citizens’ trust in the electoral process;

•  The designation of a contact authority for exchanging data on voters and candidates would ensure better coordination of national electoral authorities and would also dissuade the possibilities for double voting;

•    The threshold would render electoral conditions more equal for political parties in all Member States. It would also create more equality regarding the weight that each citizens’ vote carries for the election of Members of Parliament;

•    The draft Council Decision is a Union Act, contrary to the intergovernmental character of the Act concerning the elections of members of European Parliament by direct universal suffrage. Therefore, the ECJ would have jurisprudence on those parts of the Electoral Act amended by the draft Council Decision. This gives citizens legal certainty.

Even though more ambition from the Council would have been expected, the European Parliament should now swiftly give its consent and thus show that, even within the currently difficult political context, European democracy can be improved step by step. The decision should be seen as a stepping stone rather than as an end point.


PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

Reform of the electoral law of the European Union

References

09425/2018 – C8-0276/2018 – 2015/0907(APP)

Date of consultation / request for consent

18.6.2018

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

AFCO

 

 

 

 

Rapporteurs

       Date appointed

Jo Leinen

26.2.2015

Danuta Maria Hübner

26.2.2015

 

 

Discussed in committee

20.6.2018

 

 

 

Date adopted

2.7.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

15

8

1

Members present for the final vote

Gerolf Annemans, Mercedes Bresso, Elmar Brok, Richard Corbett, Pascal Durand, Esteban González Pons, Danuta Maria Hübner, Alain Lamassoure, Jo Leinen, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Markus Pieper, Paulo Rangel, Helmut Scholz, György Schöpflin, Pedro Silva Pereira, Barbara Spinelli, Josep-Maria Terricabras, Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski, Guy Verhofstadt

Substitutes present for the final vote

Max Andersson, Ashley Fox, Jérôme Lavrilleux, David McAllister, Cristian Dan Preda

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Daniela Aiuto, Jonás Fernández, Birgit Sippel

Date tabled

2.7.2018


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

15

+

NI

Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski

PPE

Elmar Brok, Esteban González Pons, Danuta Maria Hübner, Alain Lamassoure, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Markus Pieper, Paulo Rangel, György Schöpflin

S&D

Mercedes Bresso, Richard Corbett, Jonás Fernández, Jo Leinen, Pedro Silva Pereira, Birgit Sippel

8

-

ALDE

Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Guy Verhofstadt

ECR

Ashley Fox

ENF

Gerolf Annemans

GUE/NGL

Helmut Scholz, Barbara Spinelli

VERTS/ALE

Pascal Durand, Josep Maria Terricabras

1

0

EFDD

Daniela Aiuto

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 2 July 2018Legal notice