The European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs is proposing ways to enhance the democratic aspects of the upcoming European elections. In the draft report, MEPs demand efforts to increase voter turnout in the June 2024 elections, especially among mobile citizens (those living in a different Member State to the one of their nationality).

They regret that recently proposed innovations for mobile citizens will not be applied in time for next year’s elections, as well as restrictions preventing European political parties from fully participating in European election campaigns.

The report demands that democratic standards be applied when candidates are being nominated, including lead candidates for President of the European Commission. European political parties should announce their candidates for the top Commission job at least twelve weeks before election day.

MEPs complain that the lead candidate system to elect the European Commission President was not applied in 2019 and insist that a clear and credible link between voters’ choice and this position is needed. They highlight that, based on the Treaties, this election depends on securing a majority in Parliament and call on the European Council to stop the practice of striking deals behind closed doors.

The draft report calls for an agreement between Parliament and the European Council to ensure that the lead candidates, jointly with the presidents of the European political parties and of their respective parliamentary groups, engage in negotiations immediately after the European elections to put forward a common candidate, before the European Council can make a proposal.