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MEPs vote to shrink European Parliament

Submitted by on 24 Jan 2018 – 14:33

In a move to strengthen EU citizenship and the European character of elections at the European Parliament, MEPs have paved way for a pan-European constituency in a post-Brexit scenario, voting to shrink the size of the Parliament.

However, critics claim that it would make “Brussels look more out of touch and less democratic.”

Kazimierz Ujazdowski MEP, constitutional affairs spokesman for the European Conservatives and Reformists group, said: “This is a flagship idea of European federalists who naively assume it will increase accountability and participation in European elections when it will do the exact opposite.”

According to the new proposal, the numbers of MEPs have been reduced from 751 to 705.

The plan is to reallocate the 46 seats in the reserve to new countries joining the EU and/or pan-European electoral lists and re-distribute the 27 former British seats among the 14 EU countries that are currently slightly under-represented.

The committee agreed that the number of MEPs elected from an EU-wide electoral constituency in the future should match the number of EU countries, as soon as the completion of the ongoing EU electoral law reform allows it. 16 seats would be put in “reserve” in case of a future enlargement.

Sources confirm that Spain and France would both gain five more seats under the plan, while Italy and the Netherlands would gain three. Ireland would gain two MEPs while Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Finland, and Sweden would pick up one extra seat each.

MEPs hope the decision will make the institution leaner whilst ensuring its political operability.