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European elections

European Elections in 2014 – your vote for Europe

The next European elections will be held on 25 May 2014. Use your vote to decide which parties Germany's MEPs will be representing in the European Parliament. The German government hopes to see a high turnout.

The German government has set the 25 May as the date for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament. On that day voters in Germany will decide which parties Germany’s 96 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will be representing. In other member states elections are traditionally held mid-week.

German citizens and non-German citizens of EU member states who are resident in Germany will be eligible to vote.

The German government confidently expects a high turnout which will reflect a commitment to European integration and democracy in Europe. Particularly during the ongoing sovereign debt crisis this will be an important signal in some countries.

Germany to elect 96 MEPs

Since 1979 the Members of the European Parliament have been elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year period. Since the Treaty of Lisbon came into force, the European Parliament has had 751 seats. Under the provisions of Article 14, paragraph 2 of the Treaty on European Union, the European Parliament has 750 seats plus a President. All citizens of EU member states who have reached the age of 18 are eligible to vote.

To return the total number of  seats in the European Parliament to 751, twelve member states will relinquish one seat each in 2014. The European Parliament decided that this measure was necessary in the wake of Croatia’s accession to the EU in July 2013, which pushed up the number of MEPs to 766. The countries affected are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Portugal and Romania. Germany has to date sent most MEPs to Strasbourg, and will now give up three seats.

Three percent hurdle adopted

For the first time ever there will be a three percent hurdle in these European elections in Germany rather than the five percent hurdle that normally applies in German elections. Parties obtaining less than 3% of the total votes cast will thus not be represented. The new act of parliament has passed the German Bundestag and the Bundesrat and has now been signed by Federal President Joachim Gauck. It should make it easier for smaller parties to enter the European Parliament.

Tuesday, 08. October 2013

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