Start of European Parliament Elections

Should electoral surveys from EU member states prove correct, and the European People's Party retain its leadership in the new Parliament, it means that the House will continue to support Ukraine on it's path to European integration and maintain sanctions against Russia

uatv
23.05.2019

Elections to the European Parliament have started today in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. They are among 28 European Union member states, that will elect 751 MEPs for a five-year term. The results should be announced on May 26.

The European Parliament’s 751 members comprise eight factions that represent 510 million people living in the EU. Members of the European Parliament adopt laws, form the European Commission, and approve the EU budget. On July 2, all EU member states will elect their MEPs to form the new House for a five-year term.

“It is important what the composition of the European Parliament will be; what forces will win – either democratic, or populist, or nationalist. I hope that pro-European forces will form the majority. In particular, this will allow us to strengthen our relations with Ukraine on its European path,” Polish candidate for the European Parliament Michal Boni said.

Elections in the European Parliament in every EU member state are held under its internal laws. The number of representatives from each country is known in advance and corresponds to its population. Germany has the largest number of seats, that is 96 and only 6 each for Malta, Luxembourg, and Cyprus.

On May 23, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom will be the first countries to vote. The UK is still able vote in elections to the European Parliament due to the Brexit extension. On May 26, the elections will be held in most of the EU member states. In particular, in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Poland. As voter turnout gets less and less every time, politicians are urging people to come and vote.

“The Poles do not see the EU’s role and influence in their everyday lives. In their minds, Brussels, as well as some MEPs and the European Commission, are somewhere far away from them. They do not realize the importance of the EU for a particular Pole,” political scientist Bartlomiej Biskup said.

“The task of the entire political class is to convince people that they should actively vote during elections, including those in the European Parliament. It is necessary to explain to them that the elections to the European Parliament will bring important decisions for Poland,” Polish candidate for the European Parliament Krzysztof Gawckowski said.

In 2014, voter turnout barely exceeded 42 percent. Therefore, in April this year, the European Parliament posted a video, calling on people to vote.

The parties, which will enter the Parliament, will unite into factions. They will set a course of EU’s foreign policy on migration issues, as well as the economy.

Now, the European Parliament is made up of eight political groups, with the center-right European People’s Party as the largest faction. It is represented by 216 MEPs from all EU member countries. The European People’s Party stands for European and Euro-Atlantic unity and strongly condemns Russia’s aggressive policy. The smallest faction within the European Parliament is the Europe of Nations and Freedom group. It was launched in 2015 by French politician Marine Le Pen, who supports the lifting of EU sanctions against Russia.

“On the 26th of May, people decide first of all whether we keep this approach alive, whether we keep our unity, whether we want to work together. And I tell you, I will fight with all my possibilities, with all my means, I will fight against those who want us to destroy the Europe we built up. I fight against the nationalists, I fight against the populists. They will not destroy our today’s European Union,” MEP Leader of the European People’s Party Manfred Weber said in a speech.

Europe Elects, which provides electoral surveys from the EU member states, says that the European People’s Party will retain its leadership in the new Parliament. It means that the House will continue to support Ukraine on it’s path to European integration, and keep sanctions against Russia.

Source UATV
date 23.05.2019
categories News releases, Ukraine and the EU
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