The European Parliament will debate creating community lists for the European elections

World
Wed, 30 Mar 2022 14:37 GMT
The plenary session of the European Parliament will study the possibility of establishing community lists for the European elections, made up of candidates from different Member States, after the Committee on Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliam...
The European Parliament will debate creating community lists for the European elections

The plenary session of the European Parliament will study the possibility of establishing community lists for the European elections, made up of candidates from different Member States, after the Committee on Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament has approved a legislative initiative in this regard by 19 votes in favor, nine against and zero abstentions.

The proposal, presented by the PSOE MEP Domènec Ruiz Devesa, advocates establishing a 28-seat pan-European constituency, with deputies elected through closed lists that, according to the validated text, must be equal and guarantee a territorial balance between the countries of origin of The candidates.

In a meeting with journalists this Tuesday in Brussels, Ruiz Devesa assured that the reform has the objective of "strengthening the European political parties" to the detriment of the national ones , since they would be in charge of drawing up these community lists, and also of ensuring that there are «transnational electoral campaigns».

«We want them not only to deal with domestic issues. If you have 28 candidates campaigning across the Union, they will have to talk about issues that are of interest to everyone. Not about what is happening in Spanish politics, but about issues such as the climate emergency, digitization, the war in Ukraine, the migration issue and refugees," explained the speaker of the text.

However, with this possible reform, the current national constituencies will not disappear, in which Spain contributes 59 of the 705 seats that the European Parliament has , since, according to Ruiz Devesa, this new pan-European constituency of 28 deputies would vote in a ballot box apart from the state lists.

If the project were successful, the Community Chamber would go from having 705 to 733 seats for the next elections in 2024, although before that happens, it will be necessary for the plenary session of Parliament to endorse the reform next May and for the European Council, the body that represents the governments of the Member States of the Union, also give its approval.

In this sense, the Spanish MEP assured that in the community institutions "the feeling that innovation is needed for the 2024 elections is somewhat in the air" .

Despite this, Ruiz Devesa also admitted that, on the other hand, he had to lower the claims of his initial reform proposal, which contemplated a pan-European constituency with 46 seats, and not 28, due to the reluctance of the temporary presidency of the Council, which was then held by Slovenia.

At the parliamentary level, according to the rapporteur of the text, "the great difference" of the current project with respect to previous attempts to create a transnational list is the support of the European People's Party (EPP) for the initiative, in a five-way agreement with socialists , Greens, Liberals and The Left.

“I think that the 2019 elections marked the way of thinking of the EPP. That year the process for the election of the president of the European Commission was not respected and this should not happen again. We must reinforce the figure of the 'spitzenkandidaten'", said Devesa, referring to the appointment of Ursula von der Leyen as leader of the Community Executive in 2019.

Despite being part of the popular family, Von der Leyen came to office without having been previously appointed by the EPP itself as "spitzenkandidat" (main candidate, in German) to chair the Commission.

Now, with the proposal for a community constituency, Ruiz Devesa maintains that "it is to be expected that the European political parties will position their 'spitzenkandidaten' at number one on the lists" with the aim, said the Spanish rapporteur, of making this figure symbolic «go from being virtual to real».

Edited by Sandra Municio - EuroEFE

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