Strengthening the transnational dimension of the European election [Lapsed]

Resolution submitted by: JEF-Europe Political Commission 1

Initially adopted in Zurich, October 25th 2015
Readopted in Skopje, March 25th 2018
Lapsed by the Federal Committee, FCHome2020, October 25th, 2020

JEF Europe,

Convinced that the elections of the European parliament present a key factor of the democratic life of the EU;

Considering that each reform of the Treaties extended the political power of the European Parliament while, compared to the Council of the EU, it is still far from being equally involved in all EU politics;

Regretting that electoral campaigns and public debates preceding European elections often relate to domestic issues instead of genuine European topics;

Concerned about the constantly low turnout of the European elections, revealing public indifference regarding the EU and the European Parliament in particular;

Welcoming that political parties nominate European top candidate for President of the Commission (“Spitzenkandidaten”) as a way to increase public awareness and to illustrate the transnational dimension of the European elections;

Assuming that the continuous use of the “Spitzenkandidaten” process will contribute to increasingly politicise the European Parliament and the Commission;

Considering that the European elections are governed to a great extent by national rules that are insufficiently harmonised by EU legislation;

Acknowledging the legal framework to reform the European elections (art. 14 para. 2 and 3 Treaty on EU (TEU), art. 22 para. 2 and art. 223 para. 1 Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU));

Estimating that some of the proposals, currently debated, regarding the reform of the electoral law might require modifying the Treaties;

Calls upon all political parties across the EU to

1. Establish genuine European political parties, going beyond a loose affiliation of existing national parties, and to elaborate common European political programs in order to stir transnational political debates among their members and the citizens; 2. Continue and improve the “Spitzenkandidaten” process by appointing top candidates for the European Parliament well enough in advance of the elections

2. and organising public and media events across the EU to campaign for their top candidates;

Calls upon the EU legislator to

1. Set a common deadline to submit candidate lists at national level;

2. Set a common election day, comparable to the Europe day each year in May, to illustrate the transnational dimension of the elections;

3. Ensure that ballot papers contain for each party the names of the regarding European political party and their European top candidate, where they exist;

4. Lower the voting age to 16, acknowledging, however, that some member states have the voting age enshrined in their national constitutions;

5. Ensure that citizens can also participate in the European election, in case they stay outside the EU;

6. Introduce a threshold between 3% and 5 % at the national level to avoid fragmentation of the European Parliament;

7. Ensure that citizens with citizenship of 2 EU member states can only submit their vote once;

Calls upon all stakeholders to explore the possibility of elaborating

1. A common proportional representation system for the European elections to ensure plurality of European political parties;

2. Common guidelines for the shape of constituencies for the European elections, in terms of size of their population, in order to ensure equal representation of the citizens;

3. Transnational candidate lists for the European elections in the long term and different transitory options in the medium term e.g. additional transnational lists with a limited number of candidates from each European political party or a system of double proportionality to allocate seats reflecting the sum of votes cast for each European political party and for the respective party in the member state.

4. A system that involves voting in smaller constituencies in order to ensure a close connection between representatives and citizens.

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