According to the analysts, the upcoming elections will start a new era in the EU. The fight between the builders and the opposition of the United States of Europe is getting fierce.
The 2014 European elections are almost here. Being the second biggest democratic exercise in the world, 400 million people can vote for a new European Parliament. By electing 715 Members of the EP to represent their interests in the next five years, voters are given the chance to influence the future of the European Union’s politics. After the elections of 22-25 May, the MEPs will take up their seats in July, not only to set the course of European policies for the next five years, but also to elect the President of the European Commission.
This event is very unique in global terms since 400 million voters from 28 countries choose representatives for one assembly. The voting will take place in different countries on different days, but people will still vote for national parties and candidates.
The voting age in most of the member states is 18, except for Austria(16). MEP candidates in all but two countries must also be at least 18. But in Cyprus and Italy the minimum age is 25.
There are seven main groups in the EU parliament, each of which is linked to a pan-European political party. Candidates still run under national political colours. The groups are meant to unite like-minded politicians, but based on the regulation in the EP bigger groups get more money and more committee chairmanships, as well as more sway in deciding legislation, meaning that people with differing views still flock together. A minimum of 25 MEPs from at least seven EU countries are needed to form a group.
For the first time, the new European Parliament’ composition will determine who will be the leader of the EU’s executive body -that supervises implementation of the legislation- , the next European Commission. According to the new rules, EU government leaders, who will propose a candidate for the post of the future Commission President, must do so on the basis of the election results.
The new Commission President will be elected by the European Parliament, by a majority of the members, at least 376, half of the 751 MEPs have to vote. Political parties from Europe have already put their candidates forward for the leading position in the EU prior to the European elections to give an opportunity to the citizens to have a say over the Commission’s next president.
After receiving the official result, the competent national authorities will announce the elected European Parliament’s members’ names. After verification of their credentials by the Parliament administration, the 751 newly-elected MEPs can take up their seats at the opening of the first session, 1 July 2014.