European Parliament Elections 2014

Fostering reasoned, robust and fair discussion of the election issues

As part of our work to develop the connection between Ireland and Europe, European Movement Ireland is running a number of campaigns, initiatives and events around the 2014 European Parliament elections.

Your Voice Matters.  Europe Matters.

In advance of the 2014 European Parliament elections, European Movement Ireland called on the people of Ireland to have their say and vote in the elections.  Read the letter to editors by our Chairperson, Maurice Pratt, calling on Ireland’s citizens to get out and vote.

Just the Facts

Before and after the European Parliament elections, we are issuing a series of Just the Facts information briefings to our members in order to raise awareness of and engagement with the elections.  These briefings are previewed below and can all be read on our website.

European Parliament Elections 2014: An Initial Review

From Thursday 22 to Sunday 25 May 2014, voters in the EU’s 28 Member States elected their representatives in the European Parliament; their choices will affect over 500 million EU citizens. Turnout in the election stood at an average of 43.1% across the EU, representing a marginal increase of 0.1% on the 2009 election. Belgium, where voting is compulsory, recorded 90% attendance, while Slovakia recorded the lowest turnout with just 13% of the electorate voting. According to RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, voter turnout in Ireland this year stood at 52.4%. This is a drop from 2009, when turnout in Ireland stood at 58.64% according to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. Click hear to read our initial review of the election results in full…

What has the European Parliament ever done for us?

Actually, quite a lot!  The European Parliament elections are now just two days away for us here in Ireland.  Before voting, it is important to understand just what the European Parliament does and how its work affects us here in Ireland.  Since the Lisbon Treaty came into force in 2009, the powers of the European Parliament have been strengthened and the European Parliament now co-decides, with national EU governments, in nearly all policy areas.  Here we have gathered some legislative examples which demonstrate just how much of an impact the European Parliament has on our lives.  Read on and learn about the work of the European Parliament…

The European Parliament Elections Explained

In Ireland, a total of 11 MEPs will be elected in three constituencies: Dublin (three seats), Midlands-North-West (four seats) and South (four seats).  Who can vote in the European Parliament elections in Ireland?  In order to vote in the European Parliament elections in Ireland, you must be on Ireland’s Electoral Register.  Irish citizens on the Electoral Register, as well as EU citizens who have lived in Ireland since 1 September 2013 and are on the Electoral Register, are eligible to vote in the elections.  Read on for more…

Constituency Profile: Dublin

In the first of this series of Just the Facts briefing notes, we look at the Dublin constituency and the candidates seeking election there.  The Dublin constituency has a population of 1,273,069 and encompasses all of Dublin City and County.  The 2009 European Parliament results for the Dublin constituency with first preference votes listed were as follows.  Voting in Dublin?  Then read on…

Constituency Profile: Midlands-North-West

The Midlands-North-West constituency has a population of 1,637,104 and encompasses 15 counties: Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Kildare, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath.  It is the largest of Ireland’s three constituencies in terms of geographic size.  The constituency takes in the entire North-West constituency of 2009, apart from County Clare which has been moved into the South constituency.  In addition, four counties from the old East constituency have been included to make up the new constituency.  Read on for more information about the Midlands-North-West constituency…

Constituency Profile: South

The South constituency encompasses the province of Munster (with Clare being reunited with the rest of the province) and the south Leinster counties of Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Wicklow.  The constituency has a population of 1,678,079 and comprises ten counties.  In 2009 Brian Crowley, Alan Kelly and Seán Kelly were all elected to represent the old South constituency.  Alan Kelly resigned his seat in 2011 after he was elected to Dáil Éireann and subsequently appointed as a Junior Minister; Phil Prendergast was co-opted to replace him in the European Parliament.  Ireland South voters, read on…

Electoral Systems across the EU for the Elections

Between Thursday 22 and Sunday 25 May 2014, voting will take place across the EU’s 28 Member States to elect Members of the next European Parliament.  Electoral systems across the EU for national elections can be divided into three categories: majoritarian systems (e.g. first past the post); proportional systems (e.g. party list or single transferable vote); mixed electoral systems.  Read on for more…

Get up to speed on the elections on our Just the Facts webpage.
About the Elections

On Friday 23 May 2014, the Irish people voted to determine who will represent them in the European Parliament for the next five years.

Graph showing rates of Irish voter turnout in European Parliament elections

Irish voter turnout in European Parliament elections, 1979-2009

Before the 2014 elections, Ireland was represented by 12 MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) from four constituencies. Following the reallocation of European Parliament seats in light of Croatia’s accession to the EU, in May Ireland elected just 11 MEPs.  Along with the reduction in the number of Irish MEPs, there has also been a change to the electoral constituencies.  There are now three constituencies in Ireland: Dublin, Midlands-North-West, and South.

Irish citizens on the Electoral Register, as well as EU citizens who have lived in Ireland since 1 September 2013 and are on the Electoral Register, are eligible to vote in European Parliament elections.  To check if you are on the Register, just visit www.checktheregister.ie.  The published Register can also be accessed in local authority offices, post offices, Garda stations and public libraries.

The deadline to add your name to the Supplemental Register for the European Parliament elections was Tuesday 6 May 2014.

My MEP – My Voice
Filming at the My MEP - My Voice session in Dublin

Filming at the My MEP – My Voice session in Dublin

My MEP – My Voice is a 32-county initiative open to 18-25 year olds with a passion for communicating and a desire to have their voice heard in the upcoming European elections.  Earlier this year, we put out a call for young people with a story, concern or issue, and a desire to influence the elections.  Participants were brought together in March for training and filming in Belfast, Cork, Dublin and Galway.  The video is now being professionally edited and we are taking it from the cutting room floor to the very people looking for their vote in the elections, the candidates.  We are holding four screenings across the country – in Belfast, Cork, Dublin and Galway – where MEP candidates will have a chance to respond to the video and participants and audience members will be able to put their questions directly to the candidates.

The dates for the video screenings were as follows:

  • Tuesday 29 April – Dublin – The Screen Cinema, Townsend Street, Dublin 2
  • Wednesday 30 April – Galway – IMC, Galway Retail Park, Headford Road, Galway
  • Monday 12 May – Cork – The Gresham Metropole, MacCurtain Street, Cork
  • Tuesday 13 May – Belfast – The MAC Theatre, St. Anne’s Square, Belfast

Learn more about My MEP – My Voice here or get in touch with the EM Ireland office at info@europeanmovement.ie or 01 662 5815.

60 Tweets about the European Parliament

As part of our work to celebrate the 60th anniversary of EM Ireland’s foundation on 11 January 1954 and to raise awareness of the European Parliament elections, we are tweeting daily facts about the Parliament election process in Ireland, Members of the European Parliament and the work and role of the Parliament in Europe and Ireland.

Below are a selection of the tweets which have gone out so far.  This will be updated as more tweets are sent out.  In the meantime, why not follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date with all the latest European election developments?

  1. Did you know that from September 2003 to November 2004, Michèle Rivasi MEP was the director of Greenpeace in France?
  2. Did you know Slovenian MEP Lojze Peterle is the founder and current President of the group MEPs Against Cancer?
  3. Did you know Italian MEP Licia Ronzulli regularly brings her young daughter to EP sessions?
  4. Did you know Swedish MEP Mikael Gustafsson is the first man to chair the #EP Women’s Rights Committee?
  5. Did you know Swedish MEP Amelia Andersdotter is the youngest ever MEP elected? She was elected in 2009 when she was only 21!
  6. Did you know Martin Schulz of the Party of European Socialists and a candidate for the European Parliament Presidency supports the football team FC Köln?

    European Parliament

    The European Parliament

  7. Did you know the European anthem is “Ode to Joy” by German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven?
  8. Did you know that the 10th Earl of Dartmouth, William Legge, is currently an MEP?
  9. Did you know MEPs have extensive powers and now influence every area of day-to-day European public life?
  10. Did you know that current MEPs include former judges, media personalities, actors, soldiers, singers, athletes and political activists?
  11. Did you know the current European Parliament is made up of 766 Members elected in the 28 Member States?
  12. Did you know Germany has 99 seats in the European Parliament?  That’s 1 per 859,000 citizens.  Malta has 6 seats, 1 per 67,000 citizens!
  13. Did you know that British MEP Michael Cashman participated in the first gay kiss in a British soap opera?
  14. Did you know the European Parliament offers five-month traineeships to university graduates twice a year?
  15. Did you know that Germany has the highest number of seats in the European Parliament?  It currently has 99 MEPs!
  16. Did you know former Czech MEP Vladimír Remek was the first person in space not from the United States or Soviet Union?
  17. Did you know MEPs must declare gifts received when representing Parliament in an official capacity in a ‘register of gifts’?
  18. Did you know that with twenty-four languages the European Parliament is the most multilingual parliament in the world?
  19. Did you know the proportion of women in the European Parliament has risen steadily?  At present just over one third of MEPs are women.
  20. Did you know that voting in European Parliament elections is compulsory in Belgium, Luxembourg, Cyprus and Greece?
  21. Did you know former Polish MEP Krzysztof Hołowczyc was also a rally driver and won the European Rally Championship in 1997?
  22. Did you know the voting age for the European Parliament is 18?  Aside from in Austria where 16 year olds can vote!
  23. Did you know the European Parliament can call other institutions to Q&A’s and if necessary take them to court if they break EU law or treaties?
  24. Did you know the European Parliament employs about 6,000 officials and other staff from EU Member States?
  25. Did you know Slovak MEP Peter Šťastný played professional ice hockey in the NHL and ranks 36th in the all-time point scorers?
  26. Did you know Italian MEP Umberto Guidoni was the first European astronaut on the International Space Station?

 

1000 Reasons to Vote for Europe

Our colleagues in European Movement International are running an awareness-raising campaign around the European elections, gathering together thoughts from people around Europe on why they will be voting in the European elections.  Learn more about this project and read some of the reasons they have gathered here.