REPORT on improving the practical arrangements for the holding of the European elections in 2014

12.6.2013 - (2013/2102(INI))

Committee on Constitutional Affairs
Rapporteur: Andrew Duff

Procedure : 2013/2102(INL)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  


on improving the practical arrangements for the holding of the European elections in 2014


The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Articles 10 and 17(7) of the Treaty on European Union,

–   having regard to Article 22(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to Articles 11, 12(2) and 39 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights,

–   having regard to the Act concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage annexed to the Council decision of 20 September 1976, as amended[1],

–   having regard to Declaration 11 annexed to the Lisbon Treaty on Article 17(6) and (7) of the Treaty on European Union,

–   having regard to Directive 93/109/EC and its amending Directive 2013/1/EU, which lay down detailed arrangements for the exercise of the right to vote and stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament for citizens of the Union residing in a Member State of which they are not nationals,

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 12 March 2013 entitled ‘Preparing for the 2014 European elections: further enhancing their democratic and efficient conduct’ (COM(2013)0126),

–   having regard to the Commission recommendation of 12 March 2013 on enhancing the democratic and efficient conduct of the elections to the European Parliament, addressed to the Member States and the European and national political parties (C(2013)1303),

–   having regard to its resolution of 22 November 2012 on the elections to the European Parliament in 2014[2],

–   having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2013 on the composition of the Parliament with regard to the elections in 2014[3],

–   having regard to Rules 41, 48 and 105 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A7-0219/2013),

A. whereas it has been agreed that the polling days of the election are to be brought forward to 22-25 May 2014 and, therefore, that the constitutive session of the new Parliament will take place on 1 July;

B.  whereas citizens are directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament;

C. whereas every citizen has the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union;

D. whereas political parties at European level are actors in the European political sphere; whereas they contribute to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of the citizens of the Union;

E.  whereas the 2014 elections will be the first to take place after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty – which widens significantly the powers of the European Parliament, including its role in the election of the President of the Commission – and, accordingly, will provide a key opportunity to increase the transparency of the elections and strengthen their European dimension;

F.  whereas the major European political parties appear ready to nominate their own candidates for the Presidency of the Commission, in the expectation that those candidates will play a leading role in the parliamentary electoral campaign, in particular by personally presenting their political programme in all the EU Member States;

G. whereas internal party democracy and high standards of openness and integrity on the part of political parties are an essential basis for increasing public trust in the political system;

H. whereas the resolution of the current crisis of governance in the EU requires a fuller democratic legitimation of the integration process;

I.   whereas Union citizens have the right to stand and vote in the European Parliamentary elections even when residing in a Member State other than their own;

J.   whereas electoral campaigns continue to focus primarily on national issues, pushing debate on specifically European issues into the background, which has a negative impact on the level of participation in elections to the European Parliament;

K. whereas turnout at the elections is likely to be enhanced by a lively political campaign in which political parties and their candidates compete for votes and seats on the basis of alternative programmes which address the European dimension of politics;

L.  whereas repeated opinion polls suggest that a large majority would be inclined to vote if they were better informed about the European Parliament, the political parties, their programmes and candidates; whereas all media outlets are therefore encouraged to bring maximum attention to the elections;

M. whereas the President of the European Commission is elected by Parliament on the proposal of the European Council, which must take into account the results of the elections and must consult the new Parliament before making its nomination(s);

N. whereas the detailed arrangements for the consultations between Parliament and the European Council on the election of the Commission President may, according to Declaration 11 annexed to the Lisbon Treaty, be determined ‘by common accord’;

1.  Calls on the political parties to ensure that the names of the candidates selected to stand for election to the European Parliament are made public at least six weeks before the start of polling;

2.  Expects the candidates to commit themselves, if elected, to taking up their mandates to serve as Members of the European Parliament, unless appointed to a post which renders them ineligible pursuant to Article 7 of the Act on the direct election of the European Parliament (1976);

3.  Calls on the Member States and the political parties to press for a higher proportion of women on the lists of candidates and, as far as possible, to encourage the drafting of lists that ensure equal representation;

4.  Urges the Member States and political parties to see to it that the names – and , where appropriate, the emblems – of the European political parties appear on the ballot paper;

5.  Asks the European political parties to nominate their candidates for the Commission presidency sufficiently well in advance of the election for them to be able to mount a significant, European-wide campaign that concentrates on European issues that are based on the party platform and on the programme of their candidate for the Commission presidency;

6   Insists that political parties at all levels adopt democratic and transparent procedures for the selection of candidates for election to the European Parliament and for the Presidency of the Commission;

7.  Calls on the national political parties to inform citizens, before and during the electoral campaign, about their affiliation with a European political party and their support for its candidate for the Commission presidency and for his or her political programme;

8.  Encourages the Member States to permit political broadcasts by the European political parties;

9.  Urges the European political parties to hold a series of public debates between the candidates nominated for the Commission presidency;

10. Recommends that the Member States take all necessary steps to give effective implementation to the measures agreed on to assist citizens who wish to vote or stand as candidates in states other than their own;

11. Calls on the Member States to organise a public campaign to encourage citizens to turn out to vote, with the aim of halting falling participation rates;

12. Encourages national political parties to include on their lists of candidates EU citizens residing in Member States other than their own;

13. Insists that, pursuant to Article 10(2) of the Act on the direct election of the European Parliament, no official result shall be published in any Member State until after the close of poll in the Member State whose electors are the last to vote on Sunday 25 May 2014;

14. Proposes that detailed arrangements for the consultations between Parliament and the European Council on the election of the new Commission President should be agreed by common accord in good time before the elections;

15. Expects that, in this process, the candidate for Commission President put forward by the European political party that wins the most seats in the Parliament will be the first to be considered, with a view to ascertaining his or her ability to secure the support of the necessary absolute majority in Parliament;

16. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the parliaments of the Member States and the European political parties.

  • [1]  Council Decision 76/787/ECSC, EEC, Euratom (OJ L 278, 8.10.1976, p. 1) as amended by Council Decision 93/81/Euratom, ECSC, EEC (OJ L 33, 9.2.1993, p. 15) and by Council Decision 2002/772/EC, Euratom (OJ L 283, 21.10.2002, p. 1).
  • [2]  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0462.
  • [3]  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0082.


Date adopted





Result of final vote







Members present for the final vote

Andrew Henry William Brons, Carlo Casini, Andrew Duff, Ashley Fox, Roberto Gualtieri, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Zita Gurmai, Gerald Häfner, Stanimir Ilchev, Constance Le Grip, Morten Messerschmidt, Paulo Rangel, Algirdas Saudargas, József Szájer, Rafał Trzaskowski, Luis Yáñez-Barnuevo García

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Sandrine Bélier, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Marietta Giannakou, Helmut Scholz, György Schöpflin, Alexandra Thein, Rainer Wieland

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Susy De Martini