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Only an EU wide constituency guarantees truly ‘European’ parliamentary elections

Joint PR by JEF, LYMEC and FYEG on transnational lists for the EP elections

, by JEF-Europe

One year after the European Parliament (EP) elections, the Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe), the European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) and the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) want to remind of the necessity of reforming the electoral system in order to bring the EU closer to the citizens and reverse the worrying trend towards ever lower voter turnout.

authors

All three organisations therefore welcome the proposal included in the Duff Report of having additional MEPs who will be elected by a single constituency formed of the whole territory of the European Union and transnational lists that will be composed of candidates drawn from at least one third of the States.

“Any initiatives aiming at creating a genuinely European public sphere and a more European mindset among the MEPs are extremely important for European democracy, as national priorities still too often dominate the election campaign.” explains JEF-Europe President Philippe Adriaenssens.

For JEF-Europe, LYMECand FYEGit is essential that a significant number of MEP candidates could run on such transnational lists. The European political parties would thus feel encouraged to nominate their own candidates and engage in EU-wide campaigns.

“National campaigns by national parties often centre on national issues. If one wants to have true European Parliament elections instead of 27 national ones, we need EU-wide lists. That way, a European public sphere could further develop. An EU-wide constituency would thus make the European public more sensible for the European dimension of the elections and strengthen the legitimacy as well as the democratic power of the European Parliament.” states LYMEC President Alexander Plahr.

We need a Convention producing a new democratic consensus for post-national Europe.

Representatives of all three organisations emphasize: “The change in the composition of the European Institutions is so fundamental that reforms must be dealt with now and not postponed until a couple of months before the next elections. The European political parties have the primary responsibility here to reconnect the Citizens with the EU decision-makers.”

MEP Andrew Duff, President of the UEFand Rapporteur for the Reform of the Electoral Act in the AFCO committee, concludes: “I welcome the support of JEF for radical reform of our parliamentary system. The establishment of a transnational constituency for a small number of MEPs is the key proposal. It would galvanise the European Parliamentary election campaign and give European political parties some serious campaigning to do for the first time. What we need next spring is a Convention which brings together all the stakeholders to debate these matters and produce a new democratic consensus for post-national Europe.” [ENDS]

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P.S.

Press Contacts:

For JEF: Philippe Adriaenssens | president@jef.eu | +32 472334127

For LYMEC: Alexander Plahr | alexander.plahr@lymec.eu | +49 15124072243

For FYEG: Delfina Rossi | delfina@fyeg.org | +34 666320831 and Sebastian Power | sebastian@fyeg.org | +44 7886543863

Images:

- The main building of the European Parliament in Brussels from inside. © Bernard Rouffignac; source: Flickr
- logos of the three signatory organisations

Further reading:

- Andrew Duff proposes creation of transnational list from Europolitics

Your comments

  • On 12 June 2010 at 01:14, by Vincent Venus Replying to: Agree and idea of further reading.

    I totally agree. You might also add to further readings:

    “WHY EUROPE NEEDS A CONSTITUTION” by Jürgen Habermas. Should be read by everyone!

    You can read it here: http://www.newleftreview.org/A2343

  • On 14 June 2010 at 00:22, by Chapo Replying to: Only an EU wide constituency guarantees truly ‘European’ parliamentary elections

    Good work, and it was a also perfect idea to address that together with 2 political parties youth organisations.

    The point is: there is not a single reason why the EU should reject the idea of a European constituency. Not even money (especially if no additional MEP seats are created), not even the so-called “subsidiarity principle”.

    If the proposal is too controversial, then it will still be possible to find solutions. To downsize the number of seats concerned by the European constituency from 25 MEPs (Duff’s proposal) to 15 or 10. Or to create the constituency through a sort of “enhanced cooperation”, whereby an arrangment would be found for the 2/3 eurosceptic countries not willing to take part to it. But we need a European constituency by 2014 (and please a single one, not a series of cross-border monsters as proposed in 1998!).

    Now, how do we deal with the other item on the agenda of EP election reform: having political parties designate their candidate for Commission president before the next EP elections? Shouldn’t party activists have their say on this kind of designation?

  • On 15 June 2010 at 10:40, by Global Democracy Activist Replying to: Only an EU wide constituency guarantees truly ‘European’ parliamentary elections

    I was at a discussion about this in 2009 and was so disappointed to hear that the parties were not even thinking about transnational lists for the 2014 elections.

    Really hope your campaign will be successful and you can win as many allies as possible!!! (Have you contacted the European Alternatives already? http://euroalter.com)

    Good luck!

  • On 16 June 2010 at 15:04, by Chapo Replying to: Only an EU wide constituency guarantees truly ‘European’ parliamentary elections

    Which European political parties will be able to organise a presidential primary in 2013 ? PES? EPP? ELDR?... http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=394221626223&ref=mf

    For each European party, the same questions will arise:
    - a presidential primary only with party activists, or also with registered party supporters?
    - a party primary, or a coalition primary?
    - a direct primary, or an indirect one, via the designation of delegates? in the latter case, pledged or unpledged delegates?
    - a single continent-wide vote, or a series of local or national votes?
    - a presidential candidate, or a presidential ticket (Commission president + High representative)
    - national derogations for some member-parties, or one-size-fit-all?
    - who can be candidate for the primary?
    - what timetable before the 2014 European Parliament elections?

    But wouldn’t it be worth having at least the debate within each of those parties?

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