Vote on the European Election Day: - statement by Carlo CASINI (EPP, IT), Rapporteur Committee on Constitutional Affairs (recorded 15/04/2013)

Type: News   Reference: 93327   Duration: 00:04:56  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 16/04/2013   First transmission: 16/04/2013
On Monday evening the AFCO Committee (Consitutional Affairs) adopted the Draft Council Decision fixing the period for the eighth election of representatives to the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage. Elections to the European Parliament will be held in all member states of the European Union (EU) between 22 and 25 May 2014. The vote was preceded by the hearing of Rapporteur Carlo Casini (EPP, IT) and an an exchange of views. Background : In accordance with the Electoral Act concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage of 20 September 1976, the 2014 elections to the European Parliament should have taken place from 5 to 8 June 2014. Nevertheless, the Electoral Act stipulates that, if it proves impossible to hold the elections during that period, the Council acting unanimously shall, after consulting the European Parliament, determine, at least one year before the end of the five-year term, another electoral period which shall not be more than two months before or one month after the period normally applicable. At the request of one delegation, the Working Party on General Affairs has discussed during several meetings the question of the dates of the 2014 elections to the European Parliament. Following those discussions, delegations have agreed, pending the consultation of the European Parliament, to depart from the normally applicable dates and hold the next European Parliament elections in the period from 22 to 25 May 2014. It will be the eighth Europe-wide election to the European Parliament since the first direct elections in 1979. The 2014 election will be the first to apply the apportionment of seats foreseen in application of the Lisbon treaty. Following the election, MEP's will, for the first time proceed to the election of the President of the European Commission.

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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
00:00:00 TITLE : Vote on the European Election Day : statement by Carlo CASINI (EPP, IT), Rapporteur Committee on Constitutional Affairs (recorded 15/04/2013) 00:00:05
00:00:05 EXTERIOR SHOT of the European Parliament, Strasbourg 00:00:05
00:00:10 5 SHOTS on the AFCO Committee MEP's entering the room. 00:00:29
00:00:39 SOUNDBITE (Italian) Carlo CASINI (EPP, IT), Chair, Committee on Constitutional Affairs : English translation : " The objective is to bring closer citizens to Europe, to allow them to feel that Europe is important, that their opinion, their will is taken into account. So we have to make it possible for them to participate. The rescheduling of the elections will help citizens to participate as they won't be yet on vacations, because schools are not yet closed. Furthermore, this will allow the setting up of the Commission in short times, within the month of May, and not in June such as previously, after the holidays period, when people have had already the time to forget about the election. This way people can acknowledge the result of the voting." 00:00:35
00:01:14 CUTAWAYS : 4 shots, MEP's listening 00:00:25
00:01:39 SOUNDBITE (Italian) Carlo CASINI (EPP, IT), Chair, Committee on Constitutional Affairs : English translation : "Lets move to the point about election day and the period within which we will proceed tot the Eighth election to the European Parliament. As you know, in a letter of the 15th of March 2013, the Council as asked the European Parliament to give as soon as possible its opinion in conformity with article 11 of the electoral law, about this proposal to anticipate election dates to the 22th-25th May the elections." 00:00:29
00:02:08 CUTAWAY : close shot on MEP John Stuart AGNEW (EFD, UK) listening 00:00:04
00:02:12 SOUNDBITE (Italian) Carlo CASINI (EPP, IT), Chair, Committee on Constitutional Affairs : English translation : "I recall you that the European Parliament has already adopted on the 22th of November 2012 to a large majority a resolution on the elections where we were asking to the Council to consult the European Parliament so to be able to anticipate the election period. So we can say that the initiative was our." 00:00:23
00:02:35 SOUNDBITE (English) John Stuart AGNEW (EFD, UK) MEP : "It has been said that it is about allowing for a greater period before the summer holidays, so to get the Commission in place. That maybe so. But that proposal alone does not make it impossible to hold the elections on a lawful date, the reality therefore is that this is no more or less than a matter of proceeding for political convenience, the fact on the matter is that there is nothing in fact or in law which makes it impossible to hold the lections on the due day. So let us call the proposal what it is, it is jerry-maundering, in absence of a lawful proper reason for moving the date, you risk the following : if the election have been held otherwise than in accordance of the law, the challenge to the very legality of the election, will disrupt the political parties which will think that it would had been better if they could have hold the campaign until the June date. And at the moment no proper lawful reason has been advanced to meet the conditions, this draft decision is unlawful." 00:00:56
00:03:31 SOUNDBITE (Italian) Carlo CASINI (EPP, IT), Chair, Committee on Constitutional Affairs : English translation : "The Council is making this proposal for the same reasons that we set out, and that is next year, in Germany, on the dates during which the elections are supposed to be held, there will be holydays going on and that will make it difficult to participate in the elections. I think the impossibility of holding the lections mentioned in the rules should be understood not as an absolute but relatively speaking, I mean there's that difficulty in Germany, and there is also that difficulty several times been raised, in the European parliament, which relates to coming up with the properly constituting the decision making bodies of the Parliament and so on. And this would be more difficult to do if the elections take place in June rather than in May, those I think are the reasons which was proposed by yourselves, I recall." 00:01:04
00:04:35 SHOTS on the AFCO Committee MEP's voting : 4 SHOTS 00:00:21
00:04:56 END 00:00:00
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