European Parliament Elections 2004 [archived]

The European Parliament elections were held
between 10-13 June 2004. As a result of the enlargement of the
European Union to 25 countries, 732 members of the European
Parliament have been chosen. For an overview of the main
challenges and results of the EP elections 2004 (voter turnout,
“Europeanness” of the election campaign, national impacts of
the elections, division of power in the EP), see our
LinksDossier on the EP elections results.

Background

Since 1979, the European Parliament is
directly elected every five years. This year, ten new
countries will be sending members to the European
Parliament. These countries already have had observers in
the Parliament since 2003. The European Parliament now
counts 624 members and 162 observers. After the elections,
it will have 732 members.

Here is a table indicating the new
distribution of seats per country after the elections (as
defined by the Treaty of Accession), as well as links to
current members and observers:

 

 

Country MEPs Current
Austria 18 21
Belgium 24 25
Cyprus 6 6
Czech Republic 24 24
Denmark 14 16
Estonia 6 6
Finland 14 16
France 78 87
Germany 99 99
Greece 24 25
Hungary 24 24
Ireland 13 15
Italy 78 87
Latvia 9 9
Lithuania 13 13
Luxembourg 6 6
Malta 5 5
Netherlands 27 31
Poland 54 54
Portugal 24 25
Slovakia 14 14
Slovenia 7 7
Spain 54 64
Sweden 19 22
United Kingdom 78 87

Issues

Power division in the next EP

One of the main issues of these elections is the new power
division in the European Parliament. Currently, the
Christian Democrats-Conservative PPE-DE Group is the
largest party, followed by the Socialist PSE and the
Liberal ELDR. See the

Parliament's overview of seats per group

. With the uncertainties of unprecendented European
elections in the new Member States and possible shifting
alliances in the traditional parliamentary groups (eg. UK
Conservatives to stay in the EPP Group?), it is impossible
to predict which party family will dominate the next
parliament.

Voter turnout for the elections

Since direct elections for the European Parliament started
in 1979, the overall voter turnout has fallen steadily. The
following table shows, by country, the turnout figures for
each of the five elections since 1979:

Country 1979 1984 1989 1994 1999
Belgium (voting compulsory) 91.4 92.2 90.7 90.7 91.0
Denmark 47.8 52.2 47.4 52.9 50.4
France 60 .7 56.7 48.8 52.7 46.8
Germany 65.7 56.8 62.3 60.0 45.2
Greece 78.6 77.2 80.1 80.4 75.3
Ireland 63.6 47.6 68.3 44.0 50.7
Italy 84.9 83.4 81.4 74.8 70.8
Luxembourg 88.9 87.0 96.2 88.5 85.8
Netherlands 58.1 50.6 47.5 35.6 29.9
Portugal   72.4 51.2 35.5 40.4
Spain   68.9 54.7 59.1 64.4
Austria       67.7 49.0
Finland       57.6 30.1
Sweden       41.6 38.8
UK 32.2 31.8 36.6 36.4 24.0

Positions

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Timeline

 

  • The European elections will be held between 10-13
    June 2004:
  • Thursday 10 June: Netherlands and Great Britain
  • Friday 11 June: Ireland, Czech Republic
  • Saturday 12 June: Latvia, Malta and Italy
  • Sunday 13 June: in the remaining Member States.

 

Further Reading

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