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This briefing discusses the issue of the 'Europeanisation' of the ballot papers in Member States ahead of the 2024 European Parliament elections. The European Parliament has made two recent attempts at electoral reform seeking to 'Europeanise the European elections. The second of these – still to be agreed with the Council – seeks to align electoral rules across the EU Member States. With the 2024 European elections imminent, it is useful to take a closer look at the rules as they currently stand ...

An electoral threshold for the allocation of seats is the minimum percentage of votes that a political party or a coalition is required to collect in order to gain a seat in the legislative assembly. Thresholds are said to enable a better balance between governability and representativeness, by favouring the formation of stable majorities and avoiding excessive fragmentation of the legislative assembly. Thresholds are sometimes imposed by law, but in the absence of an explicit legal requirement, ...

The special meeting of 17-18 April was the last European Council meeting before the European elections on 6-9 June. The EU Heads of State or Government concentrated on competitiveness, the situation in the Middle East and the war in Ukraine. The discussions on competitiveness – informed by a report by former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta on the future of the internal market – were lengthy and difficult. Whereas EU leaders agreed on the need for a new European competitiveness deal, the outcome ...

In a series of 'This is Europe' debates, from 2022 to 2024, many EU Heads of State or Government have addressed the European Parliament, to present their vision for Europe and its future. Touching on past and present crises, they have outlined the policy areas that they believe the EU should concentrate on in the future. While every speaker has had their own focus, there have been six recurring themes: (i) the value of EU membership; (ii) the importance of defending EU values; (iii) the main challenges ...

This EPRS paper analyses how the European Commission has delivered on the policy agenda set by its President, Ursula von der Leyen, and her College of Commissioners when they took office in December 2019, and by further commitments taken over the years to address new issues, crises and challenges. It provides an end-of-term assessment of the delivery of the agenda's six key priorities, on the eve of the ninth legislature's last plenary session, two months before the 2024 European elections. The von ...

The European Council consists of the 27 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) Treaty on European Union). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold, their most recent European political affiliation, and the year their membership began.

The special European Council meeting on 17-18 April will be an important step towards agreeing on the EU's political priorities for the 2024-2029 period. The three main priorities are likely to centre on 'a strong and secure Europe', 'a prosperous and competitive Europe' and 'a free and democratic Europe'. EU leaders are also expected to adopt lengthy conclusions related to competitiveness, notably addressing the single market and the capital markets union. They will also address the war in Ukraine ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, identifies new challenges to democratic resilience and electoral processes, systematically mapping the EU responses to counter them. The study focuses both on external and internal challenges and assesses the responses of the Union particularly in the run-up to the 2024 European Parliament elections. It also provides specific policy recommendations ...

After years of pressure from civil society organisations and the European Parliament, in 2023 the European Commission tabled a proposal to improve the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) cross-border enforcement procedure. The proposal lays out detailed and innovative rules that would promote harmonisation, yet this analysis shows that more could be done to deliver on the promise of strong and timely enforcement. It follows from the nature of the Commission's targeted approach that the scope ...

After years of pressure from civil society organisations and the European Parliament, in July 2023 the Commission tabled a proposal to improve the GDPR cross-border enforcement procedure. The proposal consists of rules that are detailed and innovative, yet also quite complex, especially when dealing with the various phases of the GDPR cooperation and consistency mechanism. To help convey an in-depth understanding and facilitate a critical discussion, this briefing tabulates the envisaged procedure ...