Fabian Demicoli

EP 2014 Elections: Reducing MEPs to 751


The European Parliament will slim
down from 766 MEPs this summer to 751 after the 2014 elections, but how to
decide which countries should give up a seat? MEPs decided to opt for the
fairest and most equitable solution when they adopted a proposal on it.

The EP currently boasts 754 MEPs but
this will be increased to 766 once Croatia joins in July. After next year's
elections, this number will have be reduced to 751. Under the proposal adopted
by MEPs on 13 March, Germany will lose three seats and 12 countries will each
lose one seat: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece,
Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Romania. EP elections should
take place in May 2014, as requested by a resolution adopted by Parliament on
22 November 2012.

 

Why the
reduction?

When the Lisbon treaty was being
negotiated, it was decided to put a cap on the total number of MEPs to prevent
the European Parliament growing indefinitely every time a new member state
joins the EU. This is why the treaty sets a number of restrictions:

The
maximum number of MEPs is 750 plus the president

The
maximum number of MEPs per country is 96

The
minimum number of MEPs per country is 6

 

The division of seats should be
according to degressive proportionality, meaning the more citizens a member
sate has, the more seats it will get, but also the more citizens each MEP will
represent. So MEPs from smaller countries represent fewer people than their
colleagues from larger states.

The allocation of seats is also being
adjusted to take into account changes in the population of member states. While
some got bigger, others got smaller.

 

Procedure

Parliament can submit a proposal on
its composition to the European Council, which must then decide by unanimous
vote. EP can then approve or reject the decision by the Council, but it cannot
change the content of the proposal.

 

What about
the Commission president?

In response to a request by MEPs, the
European Commission announced on 12 March that it recommends political parties
to nominate a candidate for the next Commission president in the next EP
elections.

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