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Home >> Your voice in Europe >> Germany >> Electoral law

Germany - Electoral Law
Election to the European Parliament : 13 June 2004 - Electoral Procedure

1. LEGAL BASIS
The European electoral law in its version as published on 8 March 1994 (BGBl. I S. 423, 555, 852) and last amended through article 1 on 15 August 2003 (BGBl. I S. 1655).
The European electoral regulation in its version as published on 2 May 1994 (BGBl. I S. 957) and last amended through article 1 on 12 December 2003 (BGBl. I S 2551).
2. ELECTORAL SYSTEM
Proportional representation:
System of proportional representation by means of "closed" lists. Parties or other political associations submit either a federal list (SPD, Greens, PDS, FDP) or lists at the level of the Länder (CDU and CSU).
Allocation of seats:
A party/ political association must attract a minimum of 5% of the national vote to qualify for any seats. The seats are allocated at national level and following the Hare/Niemeyer method.
3. REGISTRATION OF CANDIDATES
Deadline for registration:
Federal lists may be registered with the federal returning officer no later than 68 days before the elections, that is 6 April 2004, 18.00h. For lists at the level of the 16 Länder it is no later than 66 days before the elections, that is 8 April 2004, 18.00h. The latter have to be submitted to the returning officer at Länder level.
No Deposit.

Conditions:
Lists may be submitted by political parties and political associations organised on the basis of affiliation and based on European Union territory.
Parties with less than five representatives in the German Bundestag or a Parliament of a Land, must submit 4000 signatures alongside their official registration. For lists at the level of a Land it is 2000 signatures.

Incompatibilities:
Those laid down in the 1976 Act on the Elections to the European Parliament. In addition, membership of the European Parliament is not compatible with the office of Member of the German Bundestag.
4. POLLING DAY : 13 JUNE 2004 (from 8.00 until 18.00)
Other elections on the same day:
Local government elections in Baden-Württemberg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and regional elections in Thüringia.
The count begins: The count begins at 18.00.
Final results are not published before 22.00.
5. VOTING / STANDING FOR ELECTION
Right to vote:
All Germans (as laid down in Art. 116 Section 1 Basic Law) aged 18 or over and who are resident of Germany/ a EU member state, of any member state of the Council of Europe or of any other country provided they have been resident of this country for less than 25 years, and who are on a German electoral roll are entitled to vote.
EU citizens aged 18 or over and in full possession of their voting rights in their Member State of origin are entitled to vote.
No compulsory voting.
Postal vote is allowed.
Right to stand for election:
Anyone who on polling day has been German as laid down in Art. 116 Section 1 Basic Law for at least one year and who is aged 18 or over is entitled to stand for election. He/ She has to be in full possession of their right to stand as a candidate.
EU-citizens who on polling day are residents of Germany/ or usually reside in Germany and who are aged 18 or over are entitled to stand for election. They have to be in full possession of their right to stand as a candidate in their Member State of origin.
6. ELECTION CAMPAIGN
Funding:
Any party and/ or political association which obtained at least 0.5 % of the valid votes cast is entitled to public funding: It is granted in view of the number of votes attracted, the membership fees and the donations received: That is € 0,85 for the first four million valid votes cast for their list, and € 0,70 for any votes exceeding this number.
There is no official starting date for the campaign.

Media access:
As laid down in the "Rundfunkstaatsverträge" and the electoral law state broadcasters must ensure access for all political parties/ associations admitted to the elections. The actual broadcasting time is yet to be allocated.

Opinion polls are permitted until polling day.