European Parliament election 2014

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Conference about future elections to the European Parliament was organised in Strasbourg the 17. october by the House of the Europe, Strasbourg-Alsace (MESA) with a special guest , Luis MARTINEZ-GUILLEN, the director of the Office of the EP in Strasbourg. The theme of the conference was the future of the European Parliament in the light of future elections.

As he stressed, the 25 may 2014, it’s the date to be marked in everyone’s diary to know and to participate at next elections of the European Parliament. This is another occasion to promote the importance of the European Parliament, institution that represent european peole, and to make it more closer to its citizens. The first elections were organised in 1979 and from then the European parliament has gained more competences also regarding the Lisbon treaty.

Firstly, he started his speech by reffering to our European citizenship that is common to all of us, despite our different nationalities. Then he reffered to the Lisbon treaty as to our “constitution”, to the primary law of the EU. It’s not by a chance that the EP is mentioned in treaties as the first institution, it’s there to undeline its democratic importance. He thinks that a very good change is that this treaty decreased the number of Commissioners that will become 2/3 of actual 28 commissioners. He compared the number with the number of ministers at national level that he considers too high at actual time.

Secondly, he focused on legislative procedure and the renforced position of the EP in the relation to the Council. As well as he spoke about the primacy of the European law over national laws. However, beside the legislative powers of the EP, there are another powers as a budgetary power, consultation of the EP in certains matters and the approval of a composition of a new Commission and its control by a possible motion de censure.

Mr MARTINEZ-GUILLEN does not think that EP costs lots of money in comparision with the budget of the whole EU. Particularly, the topic of Strasbourg as a city of parliamentary sessions was discussed. The price is 50 millions of euro despite the other sums presented very often by the press or by other members of the EP. In fact, the seat of the EP can not be changed by a vote of the MEPs, but by a new revision of a treaty that may become more complicated and complex.

In conclusion, he stressed that we are lucky to go and decide because there are many countries where people fight for democratic rule of law. Despite the decrease of electoral participation, he stays optimist and expressed his beliefs of a better result and that the EP office will do the best it can to promote these elections.

Žofia Jakubová

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