MEP Guy Verhofstadt has been an adamant promoter of transnational lists for European elections. © Based on European Union 2018.

The European Parliament is currently discussing a reform of the EU's electoral law. In this debate, many pro-European voices have promoted the creation of transnational lists, among them MEP Guy Verhofstadt. Real solution to strengthen the Union or quick-fix avoiding a more thorough reform?

Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, the European continent as a whole has been going through particularly trying times. Europe’s botched attempt at a coherent, EU-wide public response has, among others, underlined the need for improved European governance and, finally, for a real European government.

Europeanising European elections

In this light of needed institutional progress…

European Democracy Consulting's λogos project reviews 264 national party websites to assess the visibility of European parties’ logos
The λogos project reviews 264 national party websites to assess the visibility of European parties' logos

European Democracy Consulting's λogos project challenges the implementation of national parties’ requirement to display the logo of their European party on their website.

In modern representative democracies, the link between citizens and the political parties representing them is essential. While considerations such as citizen engagement or parties’ internal democracy are important, the most basic pre-condition for this link is for citizens to know the competing parties.

So elemental is this requirement that it is hardly an issue anywhere; yet it is very much an issue in the European Union.

Mindful of this, the European legislator made it requirement, three years…

Donations and contributions to European political parties for the years 2018–19. Data: APPF; data analysis and design: European Democracy Consulting
Donations and contributions to European political parties for the years 2018–19

Donations and contributions are essential parts of political parties’ private funding. In the absence of initiatives by the Authority for European Political Parties to provide European citizens with properly visible financial information on their European parties, European Democracy Consulting is stepping in; we’ve got you covered!

In its complaint to the European Ombudsman, European Democracy Consulting lamented the lack of visual information on the APPF’s website, which would go a long way in helping citizens get acquainted with and understand their European parties.

In particular, we argued that the mere publication of information by the APPF was not sufficient to…

European Democracy Consulting responds to the Ombudsman's decision regarding European political parties

Since March 2020, European Democracy Consulting has been working on an assessment of the implementation of transparency provisions under Article 32 of Regulation 1141/2014 on European political parties. This work has led to several reports and to an inquiry by the European Ombudsman. On 4 February, we concluded this process with recommendations for the reform of Regulation 1141/2014.

On 26 March 2020, European Democracy Consulting shared with the Authority for European Political Parties and European Political Foundations (APPF) a report highlighting perceived failures by the APPF to abide by its transparency requirements.

In the absence of corrective action by the…

Timeline of the leadership of European entities

New Geographical Representation in EU Leadership Observatory highlights lack of representation of Central and Eastern European citizens in EU leadership.

A report by European Democracy Consulting analyses data on EU office-holders from 1952 to 2020 and reveals the extent of the discrepancies in representation among the EU’s sub-regions. The report calls on EU institutions, in particular the European Council and Commission, to take action to ensure a fairer representation for all European citizens.

On 25 January 2021, European Democracy Consulting launched its new Geographical Representation in EU Leadership Observatory. The Observatory follows an extensive survey of 72 entities — EU…

In the framework of the European Ombudsman’s inquiry, opened following a complaint by European Democracy Consulting (EDC), the Authority for European Political Parties and European Political Foundations (APPF) provided its reply to the complaint. Upon proposal from the Ombudsman, European Democracy Consulting provided its comments of this reply.

On 26 June 2020, European Democracy Consulting lodged an official complaint to the Office of the European Ombudsman in relation to the failure of the Authority for European Political Parties and European Political Foundations (APPF) to implement its transparency requirements under EU Regulation 1141/2014 on the statute and funding of European political…

On 24 September, the European Parliament’s committee for constitutional affairs held a hearing on transnational lists and the Spitzenkandidaten system.

Ahead of this hearing, Alberto Alemanno, Giorgio Clarotti, Olivier Costa and Christophe Leclercq argued, in a column published by EURACTIV, that transnational lists “would make it possible to run truly European campaigns”.

Unfortunately, and while transnational lists would not make elections less European, they would not remedy their core deficiency: that national parties control electoral programmes. They are, therefore, not the reform we need to make this election truly European, engage citizens, and bring MEPs closer to their concerns.


Ursula von der Leyen at the Foreign Affairs Council, in May 2019

If the Council’s agreement on a package for the EU’s top jobs is, in itself, good news, there remains much to be skeptical about and the Council’s behaviour may constitute the original sin plaguing a von der Leyen Commission.

Last week, the European Council put an end to its marathon of negotiations and, over a month after the European elections, proposed a list of nominees for the EU’s top jobs. …

Nationalist parties all across the EU have long been feeding off the Union’s lack of democracy and are bound to jump on the way the new leaders of EU institutions are elected to reinforce their message.

Let us seize this opportunity to strengthen our European democracy and finally allow the European Parliament to choose the President of the European Commission!

Read all about it in my new tribune on Euractiv:

Image Credit: Patrick Seeger/EPA/EFE

Comment remédier à la méfiance des citoyens envers leurs élus ? Comment renforcer nos processus démocratiques ? Une première mesure est de revoir nos modes d’élections pour Mieux voter.

Lisez la suite dans ma nouvelle tribune publiée par l’Opinion !

Louis Drounau

Founder of European Democracy Consulting 🇪🇺 | President of 📜 | Founding Member of Mieux Voter 🗳

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