We have a deal! After intense negotiations, the negotiators of the largest four political groups agreed yesterday night on a new and very ambitious electoral law act. This deal defines Parliament’s position, which will have to be confirmed by the committee and plenary within this and the following month. The French presidency will then take over the negotiations for the Member States.
For me, as a negotiator for the Greens / EFA and especially as Volt’s MEP, this deal is historic. It will mark one of the most important achievements for my party during this mandate. Volt is unique because it functions as a pan-European party with the goal to establish a real European democracy. For two-and-a-half years, I have been fighting for actual European elections, and better, fairer and more inclusive rules governing them. With this deal we prepare the grounds to fundamentally improve the structure of the Union.
A second vote for European parties: 28 Members of Parliament shall be voted into office via European lists, providing a second vote for all European citizens and strengthening the continent-wide competition of political ideas for Europe’s future. Lists can be presented not only by existing European parties, but new movements and coalitions can run on European lists! This will trigger a European debate about Europe’s future for all elections going forward.
Democratic minimum standards: Registering a party, registering for the elections, and party internal rules to become a candidate – all of these elements are part of a functioning democracy and are now to be anchored in law.
Zipped lists / quotas: From the next election onwards all lists presented need to ensure that women and men are equally represented via quotas or zipped lists.
Voting age 16: The proposal anchors voting age 16 as the new standard, but lacks teeth, as national provisions may override this European proposal. But the direction is given!
3.5% threshold for Germany: I fought as hard as I could against this infringement of German democracy. This goes against the equality of the vote of Union citizens and against the German constitution, according to the German constitutional court. The threshold is harmful for German democracy and cannot be justified. It can nullify the votes of up to 5 Million Germany, more than the active electorate of Malta, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia. It is only about retaining power. Only parties running with the same name across many EU countries may be exempt, even though I was fighting for all parties that are members of European political parties to be exempt.
The reform, especially the second European vote, is historic and it should not be underestimated how much Union-citizens will benefit from this reform. It is a historic success also for Volt.
Feel free to quote any of the above or to use the quotes below.