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The right to vote in the European Elections for all EU citizens living outside the Union and the introduction of electronic and online voting were proposed by Members of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, when approving a proposal to reform the EU Electoral Act, on Monday. The reform would aim to increase EP’s democratic legitimacy by improving citizens’ participation to the election process.

By 14 votes in favour, 5 against and 3 abstentions, the Constitutional Affairs Committee adopted a series of proposals to change the 1976 Electoral Act that provides common rules for all Member States on the conduct of the European Parliament elections.

All Union citizens living outside the EU should be granted the right to vote in the European elections and should be able to do so also via electronic and internet voting, says the approved text. This could enhance people participation to the election process.

Compulsory threshold between 3 and 5%

The Committee would also introduce in the Electoral Act a provision for an obligatory threshold for the allocation of seats ranging between 3 and 5%, to be applied in those EU countries that have only one constituency or with constituencies that involve more than 26 seats to be distributed.

Members also propose to improve the visibility of European political parties, by having their names and logos on the ballot paper and when possible on the campaign posters.

Finally, Members noted that the previous experience of nominating candidates for the European Commission President had proven to have increased people’s interest in the elections. They propose that these lead candidates should also run for the European elections.

Next steps

The draft resolution will be adopted by the whole Parliament during the Strasbourg plenary session starting on 26 October..

Note to editors


The EU Treaties, particularly article 223.1 of TFEU, give the European Parliament the right to initiate the procedure to reform the European electoral and formulate proposals in this sense. These proposals would then need to be adopted by the Council by unanimity and ratified by all member States.