ElectionGudie
European Union

European Union

503,890,016 4

Population (as of July 1, 2013)

Elections in our database

385,000,000 42.69%

Registered Voters (as of July 31, 2014)

Average Turnout

Name Official Name Type
European Commission President European Commission President Head of State
President of the European Council President of the European Council Head of Government
European Parliament Assembly

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: European Commission President Jose Manuel BARROSO[1]
  • Head of Government: President of the European Council Herman VAN RUMPOY
  • Assembly: European Union has a unicameral European Parliament with 766 seats.

Description of electoral system:

  • The European Commission President is designated by member governments to serve a 5-year term.
  • In the European Parliament 766 members are elected by proportional representation to serve 5-year terms.[2]
 

[1] The president of the European Commission is designated by member governments and the president-designate then chooses the other Commission members. The European Parliament confirms the entire Commission for a five-year term.

[2] Although most member states are represented by single multi-member constituencies, five countries are divided into multiple constituencies. Three countries have a single constituency, but award their seats to regional party lists based on voter turnout in each region. Member states may choose their own electoral systems so long as they are based on proportional representation or the single transferable vote and the electoral threshold does not exceed 5 percent. Currently, the European Parliament has 766 seats, after the accession of Croatia in 2013. However, seats were reapportioned prior to the 2014 election, to conform to the stipulations in the Treaty of Lisbon that limits the European Parliament to 751 seats.

 The Council of the European Union also serves as a legislative branch of the European Union. Members are elected indirectly by member countries. In the Council of the European Union, all measures must pass a qualified majority of 255 votes. In the Council, 28 member-state ministers have 352 votes, the number of votes being roughly proportional to member-states' populations.

Seats are apportioned to member states based on the principle of degressive proportionality, so that larger countries have more seats but smaller countries receive a higher proportion of seats relative to their populations. The apportionment of seats in the European Parliament for the 2014 election is as follows;

 Germany 96; France 74; United Kingdom 73; Italy 73; Spain 54; Poland 51; Romania 32; Netherlands 26; Belgium 21; Czech Republic 21; Greece 21; Hungary 21; Portugal 21; Sweden 20; Austria 18; Bulgaria 17; Finland 13; Denmark 13; Slovakia 13; Croatia 11; Ireland 11; Lithuania 11; Latvia 8; Slovenia 8 ; Cyprus 6; Estonia 6; Luxembourg 6; Malta 6

 

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Elections

Election For Date Votes Registered Voters Turn Out
European Parliament 1999-06-10 - 298,000,000 -
European Parliament 2004-06-10 - 350,000,000 -
European Parliament 2009-06-10 163,355,823 382,682,177 42.69%
European Parliament 2014-05-22 - 385,000,000 -

Voter Turnout