"The reform of the European electoral law is a big achievement for the European Parliament. It will make the elections more accessible for millions of citizens and make their preparations and conduct more transparent", said Parliament’s negotiator Danuta Hübner MEP after the Council’s decision on the reform of the EU electoral law was approved by MEPs in the plenary. It will be the first time the EP has modernised the rules for the election of MEPs since the adoption of the Electoral Act in 1976.
The new law will provide citizens with more options to take part in the European elections, not only by introducing the possibility of postal and electronic voting but also by encouraging Member States to allow their citizens living in non-EU countries to vote. Furthermore, it introduces measures against double voting and a minimum deadline for the establishment of electoral lists. These measures will reinforce the transparency and trust in the elections.
Finally, with the new rules, citizens will finally be more aware of the link between national parties and candidates running in the elections and their affiliation with a European political party. Member States will have the possibility to display European political parties’ names or logos on the ballot papers. This is an important provision that reinforces awareness of the European nature of the election.
"I am glad that the European Parliament has given its consent, showing that even within the currently difficult political context, European democracy can be improved step by step. The decision should be seen as a stepping stone rather than as an end point", concluded Hübner.
Next step: the adopted provisions will also have to be approved by all EU countries.