A pan-European constituency with transnational lists for European Parliament elections is among the proposals put forward by the Constitutional Affairs Committee on Thursday. MEPs called on the Council and the Commission to join in negotiations to reform the EU electoral system so as to boost voter turnouts.
The fall in EP election turnouts since 1979 (from 63% to 43% in 2009) "obliges the Parliament, Commission and Council to take action to promote popular participation", says the committee, which approved a report draft by Andrew Duff (ALDE, UK), calling for a reform of the current EU electoral system, with 17 votes in favour and 7 against,
"A radical change in electoral procedure will increase turnout, enhance the European dimension of the election campaign and galvanise the development of European political parties", said Mr Duff.
A pan-European list, composed of candidates drawn from at least one third of the Member States, is the key proposal approved. From this list, 25 MEPs would be elected, while all others would continue to be chosen through national lists.
Distribution of EP seats: yes to dialogue with European Council
The committee agreed to enter into negotiations with the European Council to set up a fair and transparent system to distribute EP seats among EU countries.
The committee finally agreed that the date of the European elections should be determined one year before the end of the five-year legislative term.
The adopted text is a proposal re-drafted by Mr Duff, after a plenary debate in July 2011 showed divisions among political groups.
Committee on Constitutional Affairs
In the chair: Carlo Casini (EPP, IT)
Procedure: non-legislative resolution