2014 elections: give European voters bigger say on Commission, say MEPs
European political parties should propose candidates for Commission President at the next European elections, which should be moved forward to May 2014, said the European Parliament in a resolution passed on Thursday.
Members recommended that each European alliance of political parties should propose a candidate to run for European Commission President and lead their 2014 European election campaign. This would boost the profile of the elections and offer an added incentive for citizens to participate, say MEPs.
As many members as possible of the next European Commission should be chosen among newly-elected MEPs so as to give voters more say, says the text, which argues that this would strike a better balance with Council, given that governments currently nominate all candidates.
Member states should also propose two candidates, a man and a woman, for each Commissioner's post, so as to ensure gender equality, MEPs add.
Elections in May, not June
The resolution also recommends holding the next European elections in May rather than June, as for previous ballots. MEPs propose polling days on 15-18 May or 22-25 May 2014 to give the new Parliament time to prepare the election of the Commission President in July.
Finally, Parliament suggests member states to modify their electoral law to introduce "appropriate and proportionate" minimum thresholds for the allocation of seats so to ensure that the House can work smoothly, as well as duly reflecting the citizens’ choice.
According to EU treaties, the European Parliament elects the President of the Commission and gives its consent to the whole college of commissioners. The new Commission is due to take office on 1 November 2014.
The resolution was passed with 316 votes in favour, 90 against and 20 abstentions.
Procedure: Motions for resolutions