Improving the practical arrangements for the holding of the European elections in 2014  
2013/2102(INL) - 04/07/2013  

The European Parliament adopted by 507 to 120, with 18 abstentions, a resolution on improving the practical arrangements for the holding of the European elections in 2014.

Members recall that the 2014 elections will be the first to take place after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty – which widens significantly the powers of the European Parliament, including its role in the election of the President of the Commission.

Recalling that it has been agreed that the polling days of the election are to be brought forward to 22-25 May 2014, Parliament consider that turnout at the elections is likely to be enhanced by a lively political campaign in which political parties and their candidates compete for votes and seats on the basis of alternative programmes that address the European dimension of politics. It also stresses that the resolution of the current crisis of governance in the EU requires a fuller democratic legitimation of the integration process.

In this context, Parliament expects the candidates to commit themselves, if elected, to taking up their mandates to serve as Members of the European Parliament.

It calls upon the political parties to:

  • ensure that the names of the candidates selected to stand for election to the European Parliament are made public at least six weeks before the start of polling;
  • press for a higher proportion of women on the lists of candidates;
  • see to it that the names – and , where appropriate, the emblems – of the European political parties appear on the ballot paper;
  • adopt democratic and transparent procedures for the selection of candidates for election to the European Parliament and for the Presidency of the Commission.

The national political parties are called upon to:

  • inform citizens, before and during the electoral campaign, about their affiliation with a European political party and their support for its candidate for the Commission presidency and for his or her political programme;
  • include on their lists of candidates EU citizens residing in Member States other than their own.

The European political parties are invited to:

  • nominate their candidates for the Commission presidency sufficiently well in advance of the election for them to be able to mount a significant, European-wide campaign that concentrates on European issues that are based on the party platform and on the programme of their candidate for the Commission presidency;
  • hold a series of public debates between the candidates nominated for the Commission presidency.

For their part, Member States are asked to:

  • organise a public campaign to encourage citizens to turn out to vote, with the aim of halting falling participation rates;
  • permit political broadcasts by the European political parties;
  • take all necessary steps to give effective implementation to the measures agreed on to assist citizens who wish to vote or stand as candidates in states other than their own;
  • ensure that no official results are published until after the close of poll in the Member State whose electors are the last to vote on Sunday 25 May 2014.

Members recall that the President of the European Commission is elected by Parliament on the proposal of the European Council, which must take into account the results of the elections and must consult the new Parliament before making its nomination(s).

In this context, Members propose that detailed arrangements for the consultations between Parliament and the European Council on the election of the new Commission President should be agreed by common accord in good time before the elections. According to them, the candidate for Commission President put forward by the European political party that wins the most seats in the Parliament will be the first to be considered, with a view to ascertaining his or her ability to secure the support of the necessary absolute majority in Parliament.