Event Report: European Elections 2019 | More Transparent and Closer to Citizens?
On 19 November 2014 the European Movement International organised an event following the endorsement by MEPs on 11 November 2015 of proposals to reform the Electoral Law of the EU, co-authored by Jo Leinen and Danuta Hübner.
Petros Fassoulas, EMI Secretary General opened the discussion stating that electoral law reform is long overdue and congratulating both Rapporteurs on the initiative, which is supposed to constitute a significant step towards bringing the European elections closer to EU citizens – something that European Movement International has been also striving for.
The first presentation came from the EMI President, MEP Jo Leinen, who had been advocating for a directly elected parliament since the 60s, taking an active part in the campaign that culminated with the first direct election of the EP in 1979. Since then though, we have been facing a serious stagnation in the electoral process, Mr Leinen argued. We are facing a major clash between the idea of how the European elections should look like, and what actually happens every 5 years. We have 28 national votes, instead of one, truly pan-European one.
Professor Danuta Hübner MEP, although optimistic about the progress made, cautioned that we are only half-way through the process, so there is a lot left to be done and absolute involvement of all parties needed. Having passed through the EP Plenary, the report needs unanimity at the Council and absolute majority back at the European Parliament. Then Professor Hübner emphasised why we need this change of the electoral act so much.