With the date for the European Elections coming closer, we take a look at when the vote is, why we are still expected to take part and what it means for British MEPs. Here's everything you need to know ahead of polling day in May. When is the vote? If they happen, the polls will take place on May 23 2019. Why is the UK taking part? Because Brexit has now been delayed for six months, with a new date set for October 31 2019, which means the UK must now participate in EU polls. Seems crazy if the UK is leaving anyway. Can EU polls still be avoided? Yes, but the timetable is very tight indeed. Leading Cabinet members are determined to avoid holding the elections, but that will mean Parliament agreeing on the Withdrawal Agreement well before the end of April. The EU are insistent that the Withdrawal Agreement must be approved and all of the implementing legislation must be passed to avoid the need to hold EU elections. Given the generally low expectations of an imminent breakthrough in … [Read more...] about European Parliament elections 2019: What date does the UK vote
European parliament elections 2019
Animal welfare could be set for a boost in Europe as campaigners prepare an unprecedented assault on May's elections. They are hopeful, based on polling from across the continent, of more than tripling their presence in the European Parliament. Currently, there is only Dutch MEP Anja Hazekamp, from Party for the Animals, and her German counterpart, Stefan Eck, who was elected as a member of the Animal Protection Party but quit the movement later in 2014. Campaigners in Spain say for the first time up to 11 animal welfare parties from across Europe are preparing to take part in next month's vote. They hope to have up to seven seats in Brussels and Strasbourg and push the case for better animal rights. Silvia Barquero, president of the Spanish animal rights party PACMA, said nobody doubted it was a political issue. "Society's sensitivity has grown and we want to take it to the European institutions, which is where most animal protection regulations are dictated," she said. "Our movement … [Read more...] about European Parliament elections 2019: Animal welfare parties hope to triple number of MEPs
French nationalist leader Marine Le Pen is hoping she and Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini can form a new supergroup of MEPs after European Parliamentary elections in May. Le Pen told Euronews that Salvini had been given the mission to recruit parties from rival blocks. “We asked Matteo Salvini to be the one to go round the European capitals a little, to try to find new allies,” the President of the Rassemblement National said. “We ourselves will increase our numbers, that's certain, but of course we want to expand. And I’m not hiding it, we’ve a much bigger ambition, or dream at any rate, to build a very big group composed of all those who want to protect nations. We could have a large part of the ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists), maybe the EFDD (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy) and the ENL (Europe of Nations and Freedom). That’s something that would be really quite interesting.” Le Pen denied that forming … [Read more...] about European Parliament elections 2019: Marine Le Pen “dreams” of nationalist supergroup
As key European elections loom ever closer, we've taken a look at who could land the EU's top job in Brussels. Jean-Claude Juncker is the current president of the European Commission but a group of hopefuls are jostling to succeed him after the May poll. Political groupings in the European Parliament have named their spitzenkandidat, which is German for the lead candidate of a party. It also lends its name to the process for choosing the next EU Commission president, which we've explained in detail here. Here are the candidates so far: European People's Party (EPP) Manfred Weber Manfred Weber is known as a moderate power broker in Brussels and began his political career at the age of 29 when he became Bavaria’s youngest parliamentary member in 2003. Weber was elected leader of the EPP in 2014. At 41, he was the youngest group leader in the European Parliament at the time. He was born in Landshut, Bavaria, West Germany in 1972, and graduated with a degree in engineering from a … [Read more...] about European Parliament elections 2019: who are the candidates for the EU’s top job?
Turnout for European Parliament elections has been on a downward trend ever since the first poll forty years ago. There are many arguments put forward to explain this, including the complexity of understanding how Brussels works. To help you get your head around this spring’s European elections, we’ve put together this handy explainer. What is happening? Voters across the European Union will go the polls to select the 705 MEPs to serve in the European Parliament for the next five years. When is the vote? As you will discover, European elections are a smorgasbord of different systems, with a distinctly disjointed approach. It’s no different for when voters go the polls: for most, it will be Sunday, May 26; for others the 23rd, 24th or 25th. How will Brexit affect things? It’s already meant the number of MEPs for the next five-year term being reduced to 705, down from 751 during the 2014-2019 period. The biggest beneficiaries have been France and Spain, who will … [Read more...] about European Parliament elections 2019: all you need to know about how they work