Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Thursday, 22 November 2012

Debate on 2014 elections

MEPs have debated a number of ways to improve turnout and legitimacy of the next European Parliament elections, due to take place in 2014.

The next elections are due to take place in June 2014, although debating a resolution from the Constitutional Affairs Committee on 22 November 2012, MEPs suggested that this could move to May, to give parliament more time to prepare for the election of the Commission president.

MEPs also suggest that EU "political families", such as the European People's Party, the European Liberals and others, could be asked to nominate their candidates for the Commission presidency, so as to generate a more "European" election campaign.

However British MEP Ashley Fox said he rejected this element of the resolution, arguing that member states alone should nominate the president.

He added that he welcomed that the committee had rejected an amendment that would have called for half of all Commissioners to be drawn from the European Parliament.

Turnout in the last European Parliament elections averaged at 43% across the EU, but as low as 19% in some countries. In the UK, turnout was 34%.

MEPs are elected on a proportional basis on national party lists; however there have been calls for the introduction of trans-European party lists.

This is to counter criticism that many voters use the elections as a referendum on the incumbent national government, rather than on European issues.

The committee's resolution was passed on at the daily voting session later in the day.

We apologise that due to technical reasons we are unable to provide parts of this debate.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.

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