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Rules on political groups in the EP

05-06-2019

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) may form political groups; these are organised not by nationality, but by political affiliation. Since the first direct elections in 1979, the number of political groups has fluctuated between seven and ten. Following the 2019 elections, the number, size and composition of political groups is likely to continue to fluctuate, as a result of the possible dissolution of some political groups and the creation of new ones. To form a political group, a minimum ...

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) may form political groups; these are organised not by nationality, but by political affiliation. Since the first direct elections in 1979, the number of political groups has fluctuated between seven and ten. Following the 2019 elections, the number, size and composition of political groups is likely to continue to fluctuate, as a result of the possible dissolution of some political groups and the creation of new ones. To form a political group, a minimum of 25 MEPs, elected in at least one quarter (currently seven) of the EU's Member States is required. Those Members who do not belong to any political group are known as 'non-attached' (non-inscrits) Members. Although the political groups play a very prominent role in Parliament's life, individual MEPs and/or several MEPs acting together, also have many rights, including in relation to the exercise of oversight over other EU institutions, such as the Commission. However, belonging to a political group is of particular relevance when it comes to the allocation of key positions in Parliament's political and organisational structures, such as committee and delegation chairs and rapporteurships on important dossiers. Moreover, political groups receive higher funding for their collective staff and parliamentary activities than the non-attached MEPs. Political group funding, however, is distinct from funding granted to European political parties and foundations, which, if they comply with the requirements to register as such, may apply for funding from the European Parliament.

Rules on political groups in the EP

19-06-2015

Members of the European Parliament may form political groups; these are not organised by nationality, but by political affiliation. At the start of the current parliamentary term there were seven political groups in the Parliament, as there were throughout the 2009-14 period. The formation of a new, eighth, political group, to be called Europe of Nations and Freedoms, has been announced recently. To form a political group, a minimum of 25 MEPs, elected from at least one quarter (currently seven ...

Members of the European Parliament may form political groups; these are not organised by nationality, but by political affiliation. At the start of the current parliamentary term there were seven political groups in the Parliament, as there were throughout the 2009-14 period. The formation of a new, eighth, political group, to be called Europe of Nations and Freedoms, has been announced recently. To form a political group, a minimum of 25 MEPs, elected from at least one quarter (currently seven) of the EU's Member States is required. Those Members (MEPs) who do not belong to any political group are known as 'non-attached' (non-inscrits) Members. Although the political groups play a very prominent role in Parliament's life, individual MEPs and/or several MEPs acting together also have many rights, including in respect of the exercise of oversight over other EU institutions, such as the Commission. However, belonging to a political group is of a particular relevance for the allocation of key positions in Parliament's political and organisational structures, such as committee and delegation chairs and rapporteurships on important dossiers. Moreover, political groups receive higher funding for their collective staff and parliamentary activities than the non-attached MEPs. Political-group funding is however to be distinguished from funding granted to European political parties and foundations, which, if they comply with the requirements to register as such, may apply for funding from the European Parliament if they are represented in Parliament by at least one Member. This briefing updates an earlier one of June 2014.

Rules on political groups and non-attached Members

26-06-2014

Members of the European Parliament may form political groups. These are not organised by nationality, but by political affiliation. At the start of the new parliamentary term there are set to be seven political groups in the Parliament, as there were in the 2009-14 period. Members (MEPs) not belonging to any political group are known as 'non-attached' (non-inscrits) Members.

Members of the European Parliament may form political groups. These are not organised by nationality, but by political affiliation. At the start of the new parliamentary term there are set to be seven political groups in the Parliament, as there were in the 2009-14 period. Members (MEPs) not belonging to any political group are known as 'non-attached' (non-inscrits) Members.

Independent Candidates in National and European Elections

15-04-2013

Independent candidates remain marginal vote-getters in the vast majority of elections in which they compete. However, they do regularly win seats in legislative assemblies in a number of European countries, and occasionally achieve surprise victories in others. Half of the EU member states currently grant ballot access to independents in national legislative elections, while only a quarter of member states allow non-party candidates in European Parliament elections. Ballot access requirements for ...

Independent candidates remain marginal vote-getters in the vast majority of elections in which they compete. However, they do regularly win seats in legislative assemblies in a number of European countries, and occasionally achieve surprise victories in others. Half of the EU member states currently grant ballot access to independents in national legislative elections, while only a quarter of member states allow non-party candidates in European Parliament elections. Ballot access requirements for independents vary widely across EU-27 but tend to be more stringent for European elections than for national elections. Independent candidates perform better in systems with plurality rule or preferential voting compared to party-list PR systems. They win seats in single-member districts and low-magnitude multi-member districts. Although independents are expected to benefit from electoral rules that make politics more candidate-centered, the performance of non-party candidates does not depend on the modality of lists (open or closed). The vote for independents has elements of a protest vote. Voters who vote for independent candidates tend to be more critical of the government and less satisfied with the way democracy works in their country than party-voters. They are also less likely to feel close to any political party. When independent candidates are elected to office, they frequently join parties and parliamentary party groups. Thus, independence is often not a principled position but a temporary status resulting from circumstantial choices made by individuals competing for political office.

Údar seachtarach

Piret Ehin, Ülle Madise, Mihkel Solvak, Rein Taagepera, Kristjan Vassil and Priit Vinkel

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