• MEPs put off controversial electoral reform

    Proposals designed to alter the European Parliament’s political landscape were sent back to committee on Thursday in Strasbourg after they proved too controversial for MEPs to endorse.

     

    Compiled by UK liberal MEP Andrew Duff, the report made its way through committee in spring but, as the political groups in the parliament took a more thorough look at the implications of the proposals, approval came to a halt.

    “The most controversial idea concerns electing 25 extra MEPs on a transnational ticket in a bid to create a EU-wide political space. These deputies would be chosen by European political parties and have to come from at least a third of member states. Citizens would elect them alongside their national MEPs.

    The report also calls for the regular ‘reapportioning’ of seats with the EU assembly, a single electoral roll, and one set of rules on immunities for MEPs, and for elections to be held in May instead of June” (EU Observer).

    With risks of being shot down in plenary on Thursday, Duff requested the report be sent back to committee in September to rally greater political support. The goal is to have the report before plenary once again in October.

    One of the primary criticisms of the report maintains that the proposals will need to be ratified by member states, a difficult task with the birth of the Lisbon Treaty still fresh in the people’s minds.

    Furthermore, the proposals appear to do nothing to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the system. Electing 25 extra MEPs to represent the European Union institution is counterintuitive to democracy and takes away from the idea of that MEPs are elected to represent the interests of their constituency.

    OEIC staff