Final vote to reform the EU electoral law ahead of 2019 elections 

Following the Council’s 7 June decision on the reform of the EU electoral law, the European Parliament is expected to approve the changes on Wednesday.

The amended electoral act will contain an obligatory threshold for allocating EP seats in constituencies with more than 35 seats, to avoid further fragmentation of the House. This threshold must not go below 2% and not exceed 5% of the votes.

Of the EU countries with more than 35 seats, all except Spain and Germany have a statutory electoral threshold for the EU elections.

The draft legal text has non-binding provisions on promoting advance, postal and electronic voting, making European political parties more visible on national ballot papers, and encouraging member states to allow their citizens living in non-EU countries to vote in the European elections.

Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee will need to approve the new reform before plenary, with a committee vote scheduled for Monday 2 July.

MEPs will also, in a separate debate on Thursday morning, address the issue of participation of persons with disabilities in the European elections.

Next steps

The adopted provisions will also have to be approved by all EU countries. The thresholds will be mandatory from 2024, provided that the electoral reform enters into force before the next European elections in 2019. EU countries are nevertheless free to implement the measures before that.

Procedure: consent


Debate: Thursday, 5 July (participation of persons with disabilities in the EU elections)

Vote: Wednesday, 4 July  (reform of EU electoral law)

Press conference Wednesday, 4 July 14.00, with EP co-rapporteurs Danuta Hübner (EPP, PL) and Jo Leinen (S&D, DE)