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Electoral System

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Electoral System

Fair, democratic and truly European elections are a core element of Democracy International's mission. Political parties perform an essential role in a democracy, representing voters’ interests, developing political programs, and expressing the will of the citizens in the political system. 

To achieve a truly transnational democracy, however, Democracy International believes the European electoral system requires improvement and innovation. The adoption of the Spitzenkandidaten model for the European Commission Presidency is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough. We call for further electoral reforms to strengthen the link between European parties and the European public.

The voting rules for the election of European representatives differ greatly across the EU, making each member state free to choose its own system, the extent of transparency of lists, and relevant election thresholds. Greater harmonisation of electoral rules across Europe could prevent disunity, providing equitable rules for the registration of candidates and parties, common voting rights, and a lowering of election thresholds.

Reforms for transnational voting

To prevent the European Parliament from resembling a chamber composed of 28 national parliaments rather than a true European representative body, and to foster a directly engaged pan-European constituency, Democracy International calls for the introduction of transnational European lists. As Andrew Duff, former Member of the European Parliament and main proponent of such a reform, stated, this would “dramatise and personalise” European elections.

In 2012 Democracy International campaigned together with 2,100 supporters for an improvement of European voting rights with transnational elements, pledging support to the parliamentary report prepared by Duff.

A further innovation in the EU electoral system would be the possibility of founding European political parties based on individual membership, rather than requiring membership in a national party. This would enable citizens a more direct political participation in the European political system and would imply truly European parties. Democracy International supports its partner European Movement International in its recent resolution on this proposal (Resolution 5, EMI FA 2014).

For improved EU elections in 2014, Democracy International allied together with many other associations in LES EUROCITOYENS in a Manifesto including key demands on reforming the EU election process.

Credits of Image above by European Parliament, public domain.



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