June 8. 2023. 10:34

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Germany to restore electoral threshold for 2029 European election

A new electoral threshold for EU Parliament elections could be introduced in time for the 2029 elections if a government proposal, now in the committee phase, is adopted by lawmakers.

In 2014, the Federal Constitutional Court declared the current 5% EU election threshold unconstitutional. Though an EU decision from 2018 requires the introduction of a new threshold of at least 2%, according to the government’s interpretation.

The legislation will now enter the committee phase. If adopted after the final reading, a threshold would come into force before the 2029 European election.

“We consider this a step towards a fundamental reform of European electoral law,” said Chantal Kopf, Green MP and member of the parliament’s Committee on EU Affairs.

In line with this, the German parliament also voted to urge the government to push for the EU parliament’s electoral reform proposal from 2022, which calls for EU election rules’ harmonisation, pan-European lists, gender parity, and a codification of the Spitzenkandidaten principle.

However, the parliament’s move will hardly tip the balance in favour of the proposal, which is currently stuck in the Council of the EU. The government is already bound by its coalition agreement to support a unified electoral system for the European Parliament. Progress on the matter hinges on the resistance of other member states.

Nevertheless, Domenec Ruiz Devesa recently told EURACTIV that reforming before the 2024 elections remains “doable”.

New impulses might come from Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who in 2019 said she wanted to work “to improve the Spitzenkandidaten system” and called for “the issue of transnational lists at the European elections as a complementary tool of European democracy” to be addressed.

She has since remained largely quiet on the matter.

(Nick Alipour | EURACTIV.de)

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