Members of the European Parliament voted on June 15 to approve a proposal that in the 2024 EP elections, the body will be expanded by 11 seats to a total of 716.
Spain and the Netherlands will get two more seats, while Austria, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia, Ireland, Slovenia and Latvia will get one extra seat.
This will mean that Spain will have 61 seats, the Netherlands 31, Austria 20, Denmark 15, Slovakia 15, Ireland 14, Slovenia nine and Latvia nine.
The adjustments reflect demographic changes in the European Union since the 2019 European Parliament elections. All EU countries held a census in 2021.
The number of seats held by Bulgaria remains unchanged at 17.
The European Parliament’s composition is assessed before each election, on the principles that the European Parliament may have a maximum of 750 MEPs plus the EP President, no less than six and more than 96 seats for any EU country, and the number of seats is based on the most recent population figures.
MEPs approved a proposal to keep a reserve of 28 seats for members elected in a proposed future EU-wide constituency, as envisaged in the EP’s proposed EU electoral law.
The proposal for a European Council Decision was adopted with 316 votes for, 169 against, and 67 abstentions. The resolution accompanying the proposal was approved with 312 in favour, 201 against, and 44 abstentions.
It is now up to the European Council to adopt a decision by unanimity, which would then require the European Parliament’s consent.
The European Parliament said that MEPs emphasised “the need to proceed swiftly, in order to give member states the time to make the necessary changes ahead of next year’s ballots, so it asks to be immediately informed if the European Council intends to deviate from the submitted proposal”.
The time frame for EU countries to hold European Parliament elections is June 6 to 9. Given that Bulgaria traditionally holds elections on Sundays, the likely date for the country’s European Parliament elections next year is June 9.
(Photo via the European Parliament’s Twitter account)
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