Vote on the composition of the European Parliament with a view to the 2014 elections:
- extracts from the debate (12/03)
- extracts from the vote on the report Rafal Kazimierz TRZASKOWSKI (EPP, PL) and Roberto GUALTIERI (S&D, IT)
Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 13/03/2013 First transmission: 13/03/2013
MEPs have debated on the redistribution of EP seats between member states, in order to comply with the 751-seat limit set by the Lisbon Treaty. The constitutional affairs committee proposed that 12 EU countries would each lose one seat and no member state would gain any. The vote will take place on Wednesday.
Parliament currently numbers 754 MEPs and when Croatia joins the EU this year, it will be entitled to 12 seats, bringing the total number of MEPs to 766. To comply with the maximum of 751 seats set by the Lisbon Treaty from next year's European elections, 15 seats must be given up.
The "pragmatic solution" proposed by the committee would mean that 12 member states, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Romania, would each lose one seat at the next European elections. The remaining three seats would necessarily come from Germany, whose share under the treaty must be cut from 99 seats to 96 (the maximum allowed by the Lisbon Treaty).
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the EP, Strasbourg
||SOUNDBITE (English) Rafał TRZASKOWSKI Rapporteur (EPP, PL)
"We decided that for the moment no state should lose more than one seat, and that no state should gain seats.
Such a profound change can only be made where other institution questions are for review, because our institution set up is based on the balance between what happens in the EP and what's happens in the Council.
My view is that we can have a radical solution only in conjunction with other institutions reforms. Most importantly with the modalities of votes in the Council, which is now not up for discussion. We will, however, and I can promised you that, come back to that issue in the near future, when maybe we can have a system a bit more far reaching".
||SOUNBITE (Italian) Roberto GUALTIERI Rapporteur (S&S, IT)
"The sensible thing might be for Sweden to make sacrifice. Of course you can take a different view. I, myself inclined toward the initial proposal, but I think that it must be said, that however the plenary decided, the consistency and the solidity of the overall structure should not be viciated".
||SOUNDBITE (German) Jo LEINEN (S&D, DE)
"The composition of Parliament need reforms, we all recognize that. The basic structure we have here is based on the time when the Parliament was an advisory body. We have four categories: the big countries, the less big countries, the small countries and the smallest countries. But now that we are a legislative body, that approach has to be changed if we are going to be representative and legitimate.
We need a new approach, a new formula for the representatives of the peoples in this house".
||SOUNDBITE (German) Jo LEINEN (S&D, DE) "This proposal takes a pragmatic approach. Nobody particularly wins anything, no country loses more than one member, and I think this is a sensible approach in order to make room for new colleagues from Croatia".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Andrew DUFF (ALDE, UK)
"The experience has strengthen the argument for trying to find an agree a mathematical formula which can be applied before a election, in a transparent and straight forward manner. I believe that that formula will surly be close to the. Cambridge compromise, as delivered to AFCO two years ago".
||SOUNDBITE (German) Gerald HÄFNER (Verts/ALE, DE)
"We need a clear sustainable and democratically understandable formula, mainly taking in to account the size of member state, its population level, and don't leave any room for doubt".
||Chair president launching the vote
||Final e-vote results:
Total voters: 691; in favor 536; against 111; abstentions 44.