On Tuesday, 18 October, the General Affairs Council (GAC) met in Luxembourg to discuss, among other things, the follow-up to the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) and the reform of the electoral law of the European Union (EU). This meeting comes at a time when both the European Parliament and the European Commission, as well as civil society, are pushing for a European Convention as a follow-up to the CoFoE to discuss possible reforms to the Treaties and to make the EU fit for today’s world.
As the meeting of European Affairs Ministers demonstrated once more, Member States are divided in their positions on the question of Treaty reform to improve the way the EU functions, arguing that it is not the right moment to move forward with such a process. The same goes for the reform of EU electoral law, as Member States are not aligned on certain provisions of the proposal, especially regarding the creation of an EU wide constituency with transnational lists of candidates, as well as lowering the voting age to 16 and having a common voting day across the EU.
General Affairs Council: Conclusions of the 18 October meeting
Conference on the Future of Europe: Final Report
European Parliament: Report on the reform of the electoral law of the European Union
20-21 October: European Council
18 November: General Affairs Council
The European Movement International position
As the EU is faced with a multitude of crises, it is imperative that it reconsiders the way that it operates to make sure that it is fit for the world we live in today and for the challenges ahead. As the citizens’ recommendations demonstrated, there is great desire among Europeans to enable the EU to deliver answers to the challenges we face. As we argue in our recommendations to the CoFoE, the constructive dialogue between citizens, EU institutions, organised civil society, social partners, and local, regional, and national governments must continue. It is time for EU leaders to seek the consensus necessary to make bold decisions that will make the European Union stronger, more democratic, more transparent, and more effective.
Moreover, as elaborated in our position on the European electoral reform, the European institutions must reform the European electoral system to make European elections truly European, strengthening the link between European political parties and the European public and creating a real European public sphere. The creation of a European constituency in addition to national party lists, harmonised voting procedures, and a reformed “Spitzenkandidaten” process would enhance EU democracy.