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The European Parliament has embarked on a reform of the electoral law

The European Parliament has embarked on a reform of the electoral law

The European Parliament launched a reform of European election law in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

323 MEPs approved the legislative initiative, which provides, among other things, for international electoral lists, a ban clause in Germany and a unified election day. 262 members of the European Union voted against it. All EU countries must now agree to the proposal.

Transnational listings, public holidays and no eligibility requirement

According to Parliament’s ideas, 28 new seats should be created for cross-border lists in the EU Parliament, which should be occupied by men and women on an equal basis. In addition, elections should be held uniformly on May 9 in Europe, and the day can be declared a public holiday by each individual country.

The proposal also provides for the introduction of a 3.5 percent threshold in the most populous European Union countries. In fact, nothing will change except for Germany: in the other two affected countries – France and Italy – there is already a percentage obstacle. The German news agency reported that this could lead to small parties facing major problems in regaining their mandates.

Austria has mixed reactions

The Austrian Mandate’s reaction to the reform had previously been mixed in the European Union. In the ÖVP, the MEPs were divided. While Lucas Mandel stands behind the “heavily” top candidate, Simone Schmidtbauer fears complication. She emphasized that you have to be close to your constituents. Austrian Social Democrats in the European Parliament welcomed the legislative initiative.

The EU’s liberal commissioner, Georg Mayer, voiced sharp criticism. “The meaning of this list is not entirely available to me.” He said it was “another step towards forming a European Union”. His party colleague Roman Haider criticized the gender quota and warned that the planned electoral authority would be a “bureaucratic monster”.

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It’s “the last chance this decade to get something like transnational lists,” said Green, MEP Thomas Waites. However, it is doubtful whether the EU countries will still agree.

NEOS Representative Claudia Gamon spoke of a “milestone” and “a small but important step towards the United States of Europe”. Transnational lists would create a “strong European political consciousness”.