For the creation of an EU-wide constituency

Open letter to the Members of European Parliament

, by Philippe Adriaenssens, Bence Bauer, Kaisa Penny, Terry Reintke, Nicolas Schaefers, Alexander Plahr, Peter Matjašič

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

For the creation of an EU-wide constituency

The Duff Report on electoral reform is a unique chance to raise the popular legitimacy of the European Parliament. Creating an EU-wide constituency will finally increase voter turnout, enhance the European dimension of the elections, personalise the election campaign and galvanise the development of the European political parties. According to this ground-breaking proposal, an additional 25 MEPs will be elected from transnational lists during the elections to the European Parliament. Each EU Citizen will thus have two ballots, one for national lists and the other one for EU-wide lists.

The AFCO Committee approved the Report on 19 April with an overwhelming majority of 20 votes against 4 (with no abstentions). It will now feature on the agenda of the EP plenary on 7-8 June.

The 1976 Act on elections to the European Parliament would need to be amended while some of the proposals would require changes in the EU Treaty, which would require an intergovernmental conference and subsequent ratification by all 27 EU Member States. If these steps are successfully voted through, these proposals will be in place before the next European elections in 2014!

The introduction of transnational lists will turn the existing EU parties into real campaigning organisations and encourage the candidates for the European Commission to seek support beyond their own member state. Voters will choose for European politicians who presented their programme in several EU member states and thus become accountable towards all Citizens and not only those of their own nationality.

We are confident that many policy-makers, in particular MEPs, share our concern that the historically low turn-out at the European Parliament elections in June 2009 was a painful sign that should represent a wake-up call for designing innovative ways of bringing Europe and its Citizens closer to one another.

This is why we, the undersigned youth organisations, strongly invite you to support the creation of an EU-wide constituency which can provoke fresh debates within and across societies in Europe.

Philippe Adriaenssens, President of JEF Europe (Young European Federalists), president at

Bence Bauer, Chairman of EDS (European Democrat Students), bauer at

Kaisa Penny, President of ECOSY (European Community Organisation of Socialist Youth), kaisa.penny at

Terry Reintke & Nicolas Schaefers, Spokespersons of FYEG (the Federation of Young European Greens), office at

Alexander Plahr, President of LYMEC (The European Liberal Youth), alexander.plahr at

Peter Matjašič, President of the European Youth Forum, peter.matjasic at

Your comments
  • On 7 June 2011 at 14:02, by Aymeric L. Replying to: For the creation of an EU-wide constituency

    It seems that the final vote on Andrew Duff’s proposals will not intervene on 7-8 June, but on 4 July. The Parliament has probably -once more- postponed this resolution, which has already been adjourned a dozen of times since Duff took charge of it in 2007. Do we have to expect the final vote to not happen in 2011, but in 2013, 2014, or later?

    It’s hard to understand what kind of deep reasons make MEP drag their feet for so long on the issue of the pan-European constituency, whereas they bustle about launching a whole treaty revision for 18 useless new seats, among which 2 non elected ones.

  • On 9 June 2011 at 02:39, by Philippe A Replying to: For the creation of an EU-wide constituency

    Hi Aymeric L.

    Thanks a lot for your comment! Andrew Duff spoke to JEFers at the Jour Fixe in Brussels on 1 June saying that the proposal would need more time to ripe in the minds of many MEPs. If it will be voted down now, we are unlikely to see another attempt during this or even the following legislature.

    Together with other youth organisations, JEF will continue to actively galvanise support for this cause. Encouraging signs are found already in an article of the EP magazine that quoted the Open Letter:

    Hope more will follow in the following month!

  • On 8 July 2011 at 14:38, by Aymeric L. Replying to: For the creation of an EU-wide constituency

    So that’s it. After already 4 years of discussions, instead of adopting or rejecting the proposal, MEPs have decided to put off their vote and send the report back to the Constitutional affairs committee ( Which will have to reconsider its proposal before a final vote in plenary that would happen in late 2011 (according to A. Duff), or maybe ad Kalendas Graecas. So, they are really making everything not to vote on this issue.

    This pan-European constituency litterally makes everybody creep out, including the weak underbelly of the European Parliament, made of MEPs that are mainly caring about their pension.

    What exactly is their problem with this proposal? It’s impossible to tell. MEPs just don’t want it, they are getting cold feet, but they have no argument apart from being afraid.

    European activists need to become more offensive on this issue, to condemn the Parliament’s attitude, and to show that compromise solutions exist, otherwise this report will never be examined by the Parliament, let alone ratified by Member States.

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