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EP seats after 2014 elections: no member state to lose more than one MEP

Plenary Session Press release - Institutions13-03-2013 - 12:58
 

To comply with the 751-seat limit set by the Lisbon Treaty and make room for Croatia, 12 EU member states would each lose one seat at the next European elections and none would gain any, under the solution adopted by Parliament on Wednesday. This proposal now goes to the heads of state and government in the European Council, who must decide by a unanimous vote.



Parliament currently numbers 754 MEPs. When Croatia joins the EU this year it will be entitled to 12 seats, bringing the total number of MEPs to 766. To comply with the maximum of 751 seats set by the Lisbon Treaty from next year's European elections, 15 seats must be given up.


The allocation of seats for the 2014-2019 parliamentary term "should not be arbitrary but should instead be based on objective criteria to be applied in a pragmatic manner", says the resolution adopted by 536 votes to 111, with 44 abstentions. Demographic changes should be taken into account, while ensuring that "losses are limited to a maximum of one seat per member state", it adds.


The proposed solution means that 12 member states - Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Romania - would each lose one seat at the next European elections. The remaining three seats have to come from Germany, whose share must go down from 99 seats to 96, the maximum allowed by the Lisbon Treaty. (see table below)


"If we wanted to have a smooth progression from the smallest to the biggest state when it comes to the number of citizens represented by a single member of this House (...) we would have to have a more radical solution, where some member states would gain seats and some would lose more than one. But could we realistically see a radical solution accepted either by this House or by the Council?", said co-rapporteur Rafał Trzaskowski (EPP, PL). This is the "least imperfect of the possible solutions", added Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT).


Looking ahead to the 2019 elections


Parliament undertakes to table a new proposal before the end of 2015 to establish a system which will make it possible, before each European election, to allocate seats among member states in an "objective, fair, durable and transparent way".


This system should take account of any increase in the number of member states and demographic trends, "without excluding the possibility of reserving a number of seats to members elected on transnational lists", Parliament adds.


Overhauling the Council of Ministers voting system


The new system for allocating seats in Parliament should be considered together with an overhaul of voting methods in the Council of Ministers, as part of an overall reform of the EU treaties, This reform should be drawn up in a European Convention, and should recognise that "the basis for Union democracy is the representation of both citizens and member states".


Next steps


Parliament's proposal will now be sent to the heads of state and government in the European Council, who must decide by a unanimous vote. To take effect, that decision will still need Parliament's consent. The next European elections should take place in May 2014, according to a resolution adopted by Parliament on 22 November 2012.



Member States

Current allocation of seats

Proposed allocation of seats

Difference

Germany

99*

96

-3

France

74

74

=

United Kingdom

73

73

=

Italy

73

73

=

Spain

54

54

=

Poland

51

51

=

Romania

33

32

-1

Netherlands

26

26

=

Greece

22

21

-1

Belgium

22

21

-1

Portugal

22

21

-1

Czech Republic

22

21

-1

Hungary

22

21

-1

Sweden

20

20

=

Austria

19

18

-1

Bulgaria

18

17

-1

Denmark

13

13

=

Slovakia

13

13

=

Finland

13

13

=

Ireland

12

11

-1

Croatia

12

11

-1

Lithuania

12

11

-1

Slovenia

8

8

=

Latvia

9

8

-1

Estonia

6

6

=

Cyprus

6

6

=

Luxembourg

6

6

=

Malta

6

6

=

TOTAL

766

751

15




* The 3 extra German seats were part of a transitional arrangement that expires at the end of the current legislature.



Procedure: Right of initiative conferred on Parliament by the Treaties (art. 41 EP Rules of Procedure)

REF. : 20130308IPR06302
Updated: ( 13-03-2013 - 13:37)
 
 
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