European Elections - What you Need to Know
23-26 May 2019
The next European elections take place on 23-26 May 2019 giving all adult EU citizens the opportunity to select who will represent them in the European Parliament. Help shape Europe’s future and vote!
The last European elections in 2014 were the largest transnational elections ever held at the same time. This time the stakes are even higher. By voting, you help decide what kind of Europe we have in the years to come.The European elections in May 2019 will have a direct impact on your life. They will decide how Europe will act in the coming years to address your concerns about jobs, business, security, migration and climate change.
Because Europe belongs to all of us, we should all take these decisions together. So it’s not only important that you vote, but also your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues. When everybody votes, everybody wins.
Casting your vote
Although there are some common rules regarding the elections, some aspects can vary by country, such as whether it is possible to vote by mail or from abroad.
Specific details such as who the candidates will be and where your local polling station will gradually become available. For the latest data, check with your national election authority.
If you live in another EU country, you should be able to vote for your MEP there. If your country of origin allows voting from abroad, you might also have the option to vote there instead. To know if this is a possibility, check with your embassy. Of course, you can only vote once. So you either vote in your county of origin or in your new host country, not both.
For more information on how to vote from abroad click HERE
Every five years EU citizens choose who represents them in the European Parliament, the directly-elected institution that defends their interests in the EU decision-making process.
What is the European Parliament?
The Members of the European Parliament are elected every five years. The world’s only directly elected trans-national assembly, the Parliament represents the interests of EU citizens at the European level. It elects the President of the European Commission, appoints its Commissioners (as a college) and holds them to account. It passes laws for our protection and budgets on our behalf. It represents us abroad and acts on our petitions. The discourse of its Members shapes our political and social agenda upholding the values of the Treaty of the European Union.
What are the political groups in the European Parliament?
Although elected by country, Members of the European Parliament sit in political groups based on a shared platform and identity, which gives individual Members greater influence. Parliamentary rules require that each group has at least 25 Members and represents at least a quarter of EU Member States. Political parties in the Member States generally confirm their allegiance to an existing group, or their intention to form or to join a new one, at the outset of the election and often campaign together to at least some extent. There are eight groups in the current Parliament.
There is no uniform voting system for the election of MEPs; rather, each member state is free to choose its own system, subject to three restrictions:
- The system must be a form of proportional representation, under either the party list or the single transferable vote system.
- The electoral area may be subdivided if this will not generally affect the proportional nature of the voting system.
- Any election threshold at the national level must not exceed five percent.
The allocation of seats to each member state is based on the principle of degressive proportionality, so that, while the size of the population of each country is taken into account, smaller states elect more MEPs than is proportional to their populations. As the numbers of MEPs to be elected by each country have arisen from treaty negotiations, there is no precise formula for the apportionment of seats among member states. No change in this configuration can occur without the unanimous consent of all governments.
Compliments of the European Parliament