Things to know about European Union election`

This year European Parliament elections are unique and held in Strasbourg. This is because they are the only multinational legislature elected by the people. After every five years these elections occur. Many EU citizens, approximately 450 million, cast a vote from 6 to9 June. It is the  biggest democratic election in the world, second only to India’s.

European Parliament elections are unique because people from all over the countries cast their vote in order to select the lawmaker for the entire European Union. These lawnmaker also known as MEPs( Member of European Parliament). They designed different laws regarding the environment, immigration, and security. Designing the European Union budget is also their responsibility and also keeping an eye that money is used properly. 

Both the European Council and Parliament collaborate in order to pick the President of the European Commission ( right now it’s Ursula von der Leyen, who wants another term) and appoints 27 commissioners.

The basic purpose of the election is to choose the leader but many people show they are not satisfied with their own government.  For example, some right-wing politicians in France want to use the election to protest against President Emmanuel Macron.

Total 720 members will choose in the 2024 election. The total number of seats are already decided before the announcement of the election date, with a maximum of 750 seats (plus the president).

Different countries get different numbers of seats according to their population. Total 96 seats allocated to Germany. Furthermore, France got 81 seats, Italy with 76, Spain with 61, and Poland with 53. Cyprus, Luxembourg, and Malta are small countries that get only 6 seats. 

Lists of candidates are issued before the election day. 

Voters select candidates according to their respective party.  After being elected, MEPs join groups based on their political beliefs, such as greens, socialists, center-right, and far-right. For example, the Socialist and Democrats (S&D) group includes members from Germany’s Social Democratic Party, France’s Socialist Party, and Italy’s Democratic Party.

The Center-right European People’s Party and the S&D are the biggest groups. It is also important to know that far-right parties have been gaining more and more popularity. It is also expected that they do well in the upcoming 2024 elections. 

Voting Process for EU elections

The criteria to vote is too interesting.  It starts on June 6 with the Netherlands, followed by Ireland and Czechia (Czech Republic) on June 7. Furthermore, on 8 June the voting process started in  Italy, Latvia, Malta, and Slovakia. But with all of this it is also important to note that most European Countries will vote on Sunday June 9. And the announcement of the result will be expected in the evening on the same day. 

Every European Union nation has its own method to handle the elections. Furthermore, the voting age also varies according to country like 16 to 18. In some countries the voting is mandatory such as: Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, and Luxembourg.

Seats in the European Parliament are distributed proportionally based on the percentage of votes a party gets in each country. For example, if a party wins 25 percent of the national vote, it gets 25 percent of that country’s seats.

As compared to past history the voter turnout is low. In 1994 and 2019 it was just 50 and 50.6 percent respectively. The highest turnout was 62 percent in 1979, and it has been decreasing since then.

Process that follow after election

The task of priority for the European Parliament is to pick a new President of the European Commission and appoint its 27 Commissioners. Keeping in mind the result of the election the European Council announced the name of the new President. This candidate must then be approved by a majority vote in the European Parliament. The biggest political group(s) from the elections will have the strongest say in who becomes the Commission’s president, which is the most powerful role in the EU.

The selection process of 27 Commissioners is also important. For this purpose the European Council and newly elected President combine. They create a list of candidates, one from each state.After this these candidates discuss their policy criteria and answer the questions of the Parliamentary Committee. 

Afterward, the European Parliament votes on the whole group of commissioners before they are officially appointed by the European Council.

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