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Duff, a prominent constitutionalist and a leading federalist, indicated that this proposal would not pass, as there was "no chance" of political groups and national delegations agreeing on who to nominate for the transnational lists from among the present 751 MEPs.
Andrew Duff's proposal is that the 25 additional future members of the European Parliament be elected with each European political party (EPP, PES, ELDR...) establishing a list of 25 candidates to contest the elections. The final number of MEPs elected from these lists will be 25, distributed according to the d'Hondt method for tallying the results.
Last year, Duff told EurActiv in an interview that Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the liberal ALDE group in the European Parliament, would be "very pleased" to appear on the first-ever transnational list in the 2014 European elections in order to revive his chances of becoming the next president of the European Commission.
If elected outside the ranks of the present parliament, prominent people such as Tony Blair, but also Arnold Schwarzenegger, the 63 year old ex-Governor of California who made a successful transformation from being a bodybuilder from Austria to a Hollywood star, could end up being elected.
Under the proposal, voters would be able to cast votes for a so-called "transnational list" of 25 MEPs as of the next elections in 2014, in addition to traditional national lists.
Duff said the campaign for the 25 additional seats would "galvanise the political parties" across frontiers, bringing much-needed excitement to European elections. He argued that the media and the electorate should be able to "enjoy the campaign".
The campaign for transnational MEPs, which he also called "pan-European", would bridge a gap: national political parties so far "have failed to address the European dimension of politics and economics in a coherent and intelligent way".
Regarding the procedure for adopting his initiative, he said that the proposals to be voted on tomorrow would be discussed in the EU Council and would be ratified by the parliaments of the EU member states, as they involve changing the EU treaties.
Asked if such reform could pass in his own country, the UK, he answered: "It's got a chance of a success, yes. The Polish Presidency will have to pick up this dossier and prepare the Council to open up negotiations. We will see how fast we can make progress. It will be very difficult for prime ministers such as Mr. Cameron to object to reform of the Parliament since they claim to [want to] improve it."