Brussels, 7 February 2018
The European Parliament lost the chance to make our ballots European
Today MEPs in Strasbourg voted against the establishment of transnational lists for future European elections, despite having voted in favour of such proposal multiple times over the last 20 years, the most recent time being in the 2015 proposal for reform of the European Electoral Law, which has been stuck in the Council ever since. As Young European Federalists we regret that the Parliament did not seize the opportunity to introduce a European transnational list and joint constituency. This would have been a decisive step towards a truly European democracy.
“What happened today is disappointing and a huge opportunity wasted. Some groups have acted against their long-standing pro-European ideals to take sides with the populists and the Eurosceptics, and voted against the establishment of transnational lists. Calling for the Spitzenkandidaten system to be maintained is not enough. A Europe-wide common constituency as early as 2019 was possible, and would have enabled all Europeans to cast their ballot for their preferred candidate for President of the Commission, regardless of their place of residence”, says Christopher Glück, President of JEF Europe.
“With Brexit unfortunately set to happen, this leaves the EP with 73 empty seats. We were offered a unique opportunity to boost European democracy and reconcile European citizens with European politics, and ultimately, with Europe itself. Instead, citizens might now be left, again, with a mere addition of 28 national internal debates and little idea of how their vote would actually influence EU politics. Truth is, these same parties that have voted against transnational lists today are the ones who will be running 28 national campaigns, instead of a single European one. The European Parliament today had the chance to show courage and vision. We had the chance to set the framework for an honest and transparent debate, where European candidates debated their vision for the future of Europe. This must now happen without the necessary framework provided”, concluded Glück.
More information on JEF Europe
The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO active with 13.000 members active in more than 35 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights. JEF promotes true European Citizenship, and works towards more active participation of young people in democratic life. While the umbrella organisation JEF Europe was founded in 1972, its sections have been operating continuously since the end of the Second World War, making it the oldest pro-European and only federalist youth organisation.
JEF Europe Secretariat
+32 2 512 00 53