Uniform Electoral Procedure

Uniform Electoral Procedure in Europe

Description of Uniform electoral procedure

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes uniform electoral procedure in the following terms: [1] The 1957 Treaty of Rome stipulated that elections to the European Parliamentshould be held under a uniform procedure (see more in this European encyclopedia). Interpreted strictly, this would mean that each member state would have to adopt the same form of proportional representation, the same voting age, the same national or regional list system, the same electoral thresholds, and so forth – it might even mean eliminating the disproportionate weighting of votes and seats as between large and small countries. The subsequent 43 years have led to numerous proposals, but no solution has been found which could win the necessary unanimity in the Council, absolute majority in the Parliament and ratification by member states. The 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam softened the definition of uniformity: and for the 1999 elections Tony Blair’s Labour government abolished the unique British ‘first past the post’ method in favour of a new proportional representation system based on regional lists. This amended procedure resembled systems used elsewhere in Europe and removed at least one obstacle to the fulfilment of the Treaty of Rome’s objective (see more in this European encyclopedia). But doubtless the most insuperable obstacle was apathy.

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Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

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