Authors

Europa United Euro election guide – can a low turnout kill legitimacy of the European Parliament?

In a short piece, Yannis Karamitsios discusses just how important and difficult a job it will be encouraging voters to have the same amount of enthusiasm for turning out in May for the European elections as they do for national elections.

This list shows the sates turnout at the European Parliament elections compared to the national state elections and when they were last held:

Austria 45,39% 80,00% with a general election held in 2017)

Belgium 89,64% 89,37% with a general election held in 2014

Bulgaria 35,84% 54,07% with a general election held in 2017

Croatia 25,24% 52,59% with a general election held in 2016

Cyprus 43,97% 66,74% with a general election held in 2016

Czech Republic 18,20% 60,80% with a general election held in 2017

Denmark 56,32% 85,89% with a general election held in 2015

Estonia 36,52% 63,70% with a general election held in 2019

Finland 39,10% 70,10% with a general election held in 2015

France 42,43% 48,70% with a general election held in 2017

Germany 48,10% 46,97% with a general election held in 2017

Greece 59,97% 56,60% with a general election held in 2015

Hungary 28,97% 70,22% with a general election held in 2018

Ireland 52,44% 65,10% with a general election held in 2016

Italy 57,22% 72,93% with a general election held in 2018

Latvia 30,24% 54,58% with a general election held in 2018

Lithuania 47,35% 50,64% with a general election held in 2016

Luxembourg 85,55% 89,66% with a general election held in 2018

Malta 74,80% 92,10% with a general election held in 2017

Netherlands 37,32% 81,90% with a general election held in 2016

Poland 23,83% 50,92% with a general election held in 2015

Portugal 33,70% 55,80% with a general election held in 2015

Romania 32,44% 39,44% with a general election held in 2016

Slovakia 13,05% 59,82% with a general election held in 2016

Slovenia 24,55% 52,64% with a general election held in 2018

Spain 43,80% 66,50% with a general election held in 2016

Sweden 51,07% 87,10% with a general election held in 2018

UK 35,60% 68,80% with a general election held in 2017

The European Union voting campaign

There is a lot of talk about the fact that the European Parliament (EP) is the EU institution with the highest democratic legitimacy, because it is directly elected by the European people. I am not sure. The Council also enjoys a high degree of democratic legitimacy because it consists of democratically elected governments which are actually elected by a higher turnout than the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). In Slovakia, for instance, the turnout of the EP elections in 2014 was a dismal 13% while the turnout of the national parliament election in 2016 was 59%. The difference is striking. Moreover, the heads of governments (Prime Ministers) and their members (Ministers) are usually much better known to their national electorate than the MEPs.

The average turnout of 42% in 2014 should rise to at least 50% this year. The very low turnout figures of 2014 in several EU member states, which sometimes range between 13 and 30%, simply undermine everything what the EP is supposed to be.

If we wish to see a European Parliament with an increased clout, voice and democratic legitimacy, we first need to widen its electoral base. We should thus massively proceed to the polls of May otherwise not voting could give those who wish to undermine the parliament more opportunity to either diminish its power or even attempt remove it completely – something which cannot be allowed to happen.

This information article was published with the support of the European Parliament in Ireland and in conjunction with the #thistimeimvoting campaign.

Thanks for visiting our site. Did you enjoy this article? If so, don’t forget to share our work as we totally rely on you spreading the word on Europa United. All our writers are volunteers and we appreciate any help in getting our articles to a larger audience. Maybe you would also like to also help us to maintain our organisation by making a donation here. Maybe you can help us get to our goal of a purpose built web portal. Just follow this link to our crowdfunding page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s