Federal law of 23 March 1989, as amended by the federal laws of 11 April
1994, 29 April 1994 and 5 April 1995 (new law proposal adopted by federal
Chambers - 11/3/04 - nr. 840).
Federal law of 5 March 2004 regulates the passing from 25 to 24 seats for the
Federal law of 11 March 2003 (Min. Decree of 17 April 2003) imposes 50% men and
50 % women on electoral lists and the first 3 candidates on candidate and
alternate lists not being of the same sex.
|Proportional representation on the basis of four
constituencies (Flanders, Wallonia, the German-speaking region and the
Brussels region) and three electoral colleges.
- 14 Members will be elected by the Dutch-speaking electoral
college (Flanders + Brussels)
- 9 Members by the French-speaking college (Wallonia
- 1 Members by the German-speaking
|Deadline for registration:Friday 16
April 2004 (2pm - 4pm) or Saturday 17 April 2004 (9am - 12 noon).
Conditions: Signatures required:
- 5 Belgian MPs of the same language category as the candidate,or
- 5000 French-speaking voters for the French-speaking electoral college,
- 5000 Dutch-speaking voters for the Dutch-speaking electoral college,
- 200 German-speaking voters for the German-speaking electoral college.
|Incompatibilities: Those laid down in
the 1976 Act on Elections to the European Parliament. In addition, the position
of Member of the European Parliament is incompatible with national public
office or membership of a federal or regional executive and with the office of
mayor, alderman or chairman of the OCMW / CPAS (social aid centre) of a
municipality with more than 50 000 inhabitants.
|Other elections on the same day:
Flemish Council, Walloon Regional Council, Council of the Brussels Region and
Council of the German-speaking Community.
|Voting hours: In principle, 8am to 1pm
(traditional voting method) and 8am to 3pm (electronic voting). A
draft law provides for polling stations to close later, on the King's
orders, when other elections are held on the same day.
|The count begins at a time to be
decided by the King (taking account of the time at which polling stations close
in other countries). The time at which the vote ends and the results are
announced depends on the time the count begins.
Right to vote:
All Belgian citizens aged 18 or over and
in full possession of their voting rights are entitled to vote.
All EU citizens who meet the same conditions may vote.
Belgians residents abroad who are aged 18 or over and in full possession of
their voting rights and who apply to vote by post for Belgian lists
are entitled to vote.
Voting is compulsory for all voters registered on electoral rolls. Proxy voting
is allowed for the first two categories above.
|Right to stand for election
registered on a Belgian electoral roll for European Parliament elections may
stand for election.
Candidates must be aged 21 or over and enjoy their civil and political
Candidates must be French-, Dutch- or German-speakers, depending on the college
for which they stand.
|Funding: Limited by the law of 19 May
1994, as amended by the law of 25 June 1998 (law revised in federal chambers -
proposal 4/3/04 - nr. 825). The limits on campaign expenditure laid down by the
above law apply to the three-month period prior to the elections.
|Official campaign starting date: 40
days before the election, i.e May 4, 2004
Media access: Restrictions have been introduced under the
same law. For the national media, broadcasting time is decided by the radio or
TV station itself in accordance with the size of the parties. Broadcasting of
Interior figures at 10 PM.
|Opinion polls: No restrictions.